Czech president makes U-turn and grudgingly honours gay academic with title

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Czech President Milos Zeman has now agreed to honour a gay academic with a title after facing claims he snubbed the candidate because of his sexuality.

Politicians, students and academics criticised President Milos Zeman for refusing to formally appoint Martin Putna as one of the Czech Republic’s university professors.

On Monday, President Zeman denied it was because of Mr Zeman’s sexuality, however, he previously stated his dislike of the candidate’s involvement in promoting gay rights.

The last time that a Czech president did not award a professorship to somebody recommended to him by the universities in the country was in the late 1940s when the Communist party was dominating the education establishment.

President Zeman said on Wednesday although he continues to dislike Mr Putna he won’t block him from becoming a professor.

However, President Zeman asked the country’s education minister to bestow the title in a sign that hostility towards Mr Putna remains.