Tension and extent of homophobia increase in Russia

Posted: Agnė Karmazinaitė Date: 2013-07-30 01:23

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© Wikimedia Commons

After prohibiting LGBT prides for 100 years Russia took more radical measures to stop homosexuality.

In June President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning “homosexual propaganda”. This means that various events, symbols of rainbow, or attempt to explain to children that homosexuality is normal and tolerable phenomenon of society may cause liability due to law. Arrest or fines are provided not only for showing unconventional orientation, but also for heterosexuals who protect and speak up for universal human rights.

The restriction of information about sexual orientation existed already in some regions of Russia and now it took power over all country. It is a shame that such laws show disrespect for human choice, open the doors to discrimination and hides majority power behind violence. Hate outbreaks towards LGBT were visible in May when a young man was killed in Volgograd after revealing being a gay. The man was injured and raped with beer bottles, his clothes were set on fire, and the head was beaten with stones.

The United Nations recognized the new Russian law as discriminatory and violating the human right of expression by Civil and Political Rights Convention which Russia has ratified. However, it’s not the only one of  this kind law in this country. The State Duma by a solid vote passed a law prohibiting to adopt Russian children for the same-sex foreign couples.

© Wikimedia Commons

 

© Wikimedia Commons

It isn‘t surprising that Vladimir Putin doesn‘t see discrimination of sexual minorities in these laws. Looking for internal enemy for the state the authors of laws need to demonstrate concerns about traditional values ​​of faith, still decreasing birth rate and protecting children from information about homosexuality which in Russia is often identified as pedophilia. Critics see other goals behind such actions of the Russian government. Gay theme is perfectly suited for diverting attention from what is happening in the Russian political and economic space.

Judicial Russian government‘s fight against LGBT people isn‘t limited to ban of adoptions and “homosexual propaganda”. V. Putin signed a law allowing officials to arrest foreigners and tourists who are suspected to be gays, lesbians, or those who speaks up for equal rights for 14 days. Russia and the whole world are waiting for an important event – the Olympic Games in Sochi, which will attract many foreign visitors and athletes. So, situation in Russia causes concern because of safety of LGBT tourists. Different opinions are being heard from boycotting the Games to the openly showing attributes indicating equality. While the world discusses issue of growing homophobia in Russia, the first foreign tourists from Holland who weren‘t in line with the new law were arrested on Monday. One of them, it is believed, made documentaries about gay rights in Russia.