COCHABAMBA, Bolivia — Bolivian President Evo Morales was under fire on Wednesday for suggesting that eating hormone-injected chicken could provoke male deviance at a global climate change summit.
Bolivia's opposition and homosexual groups criticized comments made by Morales at the first "people's conference" on climate change the previous day, in which he said that chicken producers inject birds with female hormones and "when men eat those chickens, they experience deviances in being men."
The Bolivian president also suggested that the European diet made men go bald.
Spain's National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals sent a protest letter to the Bolivian embassy of Madrid, calling Morales remarks "homophobic."
The president of Argentina's homosexual community, Cesar Cigliutti, said: "It's an absurdity to think that eating hormone-containing chicken can change the sexual orientation of a person."
"By following that reasoning, if we put male hormones in a chicken and we make a homosexual eat it, he will transform into a heterosexual," he added, in online comments.
Right-wing Bolivian deputy Andres Ortega criticized Morales for recounting "urban legends" at the conference which sought to draft new proposals for the next UN climate talks in Mexico at the end of the year.
"I thought it was a place to talk about science and real and positive things about preserving the environment," Ortega said.
Thousands of environmental activists, indigenous leaders and ecologists were taking part in the three-day summit focusing on the world's poorest, whom they say were largely ignored at official UN-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen last December.
Morales on Wednesday announced the creation of an international movement to protect the Earth which would promote a world tribunal for climate issues and a global referendum on environmental choices.
Developing nations have resisted a legally binding climate treaty, arguing that wealthy nations must bear the primary responsibility for climate change.
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