Politician retracts comment about “unnatural” lifestyles

Danish People’s Party MP admits column arguing against alternative lifestyles could have given wrong impression about right-wing party

An MP for the right-wing Dansk Folkeparti (DF) has issued an apology after her column in MetroXpress newspaper drew intense criticism earlier this week.

Mette Hjermind Dencker, 34, told DR News that people had “misunderstood” her when she wrote that being a homosexual, a single parent or leaving home before turning 18 years-old was unnatural.

“My intentions were to provoke and touch off a debate, but I can see that my choice of words and my priorities in the column could create doubt over what DF and I mean,” Dencker said. “I have received a number of complaints from people that have misunderstood what I said. There were some things that I shouldn’t have said.”

Dencker denied that she had been pressured by her party to apologise, but that she could see herself that her words ended up giving the wrong impression.

“Are there children who leave home before 18? Are there people whose partners in life are of the same sex? Are there people who live alone with their children? Are there children who have never met their father because of artificial insemination? Are there children who live with several adults? The answer to all the questions is YES! This is today’s Denmark. Is it natural? NO! Despite how approved, widespread and normal it becomes, it will never be natural to live in a way that goes against the order of nature,” were just some of the words that Dencker wrote in her column for MetroXpress.

Tommy Petersen, a Radikale (R) candidate for city council, argued that Dencker and DF’s methods of provoking were hypocritical.

“If an imam had written your column, you would have gone nuts that someone could be so primitive and conservative and both you and Pia [Kjærsgaard] would have rushed to defend Danish principles of freedom and tolerance,” Petersen wrote in response to the Dencker’s column. “You have no scientific evidence for your statements and they are completely against the Danish population’s way of living and accommodating.”

Before being elected to parliament in 2011, Dencker worked for five years as a relationship therapist. Citing statistics that divorce costs the state two billion kroner a year, she argues that more funds should be available to prevent families from splitting up.

Dansk Folkeparti has not issued any official response to Dencker's column.

Read the entire column here (in Danish)