Andrei Bukhantsov / VK
Students at one of Russia's largest universities are calling for the resignation of a campus official who made homophobic comments online.
Andrei Bukhantsov, student ombudsman at Moscow's prestigious Higher School of Economics, first sparked controversy when he described a protest against the capital's controversial home demolition scheme as a “gay parade.”
He later attempted to apologize, telling his followers on Russian social network Vkontakte that he was “sorry for confusing gays with ordinary people.”
A petition calling on Bukhantsov to resign has already gathered more than 1,700 signatures, with many concerned that his views prevent him from properly representing LGBT students.
The official later attempted to clarify his position by explaining that "gay people could be normal," if they did not attempt to flaunt their sexuality in public. He later went further, describing his feelings towards gay people as "neutral."
"[Gay people] are the same people and members of modern society," he said. "I can't hold anything against them."
Bukhantsov maintains that his political and personal views do not affect his work at the university, the Takie Dela news outlet reported.