A leading Austrian politician has posted a picture of himself kissing another man to make a point.
Mario Lindner, current president of the Federal Council, the upper house of the Austrian Parliament, posted a picture of himself kissing another man on Saturday (3 December).
‘I have always been vocal about being against violence, no matter where it happens,’ the openly gay politician’s caption read.
‘When a friend had his face based in tonight, just because he kissed a man, then that’s going beyond a joke.’
Lindner didn’t give any more detail about his friend being beaten up, but said he wanted to live in a peaceful country, where people help each other and stand together in solidarity.
And the picture’s publication date, on Saturday 3 December, wasn’t chosen random, either.
Published a day before the election, which could’ve seen far-right, anti-gay Norbert Hofer take the role of Austria’s president, Lindner wanted it to be a political statement.
‘I’m curious to see who’ll smash my face in because of this picture,’ he said.
‘And yes, I’m consciously posting this as the President of Austria’s Federal Council.’
In the comments, people express their gratitude while praising Lindner for his courage and the statement he made.
‘You’re a role model and a beacon for many,’ one user wrote.
‘So continue going this way, even stronger, and support the people who might not have it as easy. Thank you for your courage.’
Someone else said it was sad how ‘stupidity and ignorance don’t go extinct’.
Lindner came out as gay on 18 June 2016, during the rainbow parade which is part of Vienna Pride.
‘In a few days, I’ll be named President of the Federal Assembly,’ Lindner had said in his speech.
‘In this function, I’ll swear in the new Austrian Federal President – and I am gay.’