Czech president settles dispute over gay rights

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Associated Press

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 22 at 8:33 AM

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech president says he will no longer block a university professorship for a gay rights activist who had been critical of him.

Milos Zeman has been under fire after suggesting over the weekend that his reason for denying the promotion to Charles University literary historian Martin C. Putna was his participation at a gay festival.

Politicians and universities have said Zeman's remark was an unacceptable intrusion on academic rights.

Czech presidents traditionally formally appoint the country's university professors, but in a deal struck Wednesday the government will change the law to give the power to education ministers instead.

Education Minister Petr Fiala will present the title to Putna. Zeman says after his meeting with Fiala that he is "very glad" the dispute has been solved.

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