Russia to ban 'telling kids that gay people exist'
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June 13th, 2013 (05:53 PM). Edited June 13th, 2013 by Kanzler.
Join Date: Jul 2008
We've talked about vocal minorities before though, and I'm just wondering if we could apply that model here - that perhaps what we see in the news is not reflective of society's opinion as a whole, but of those who are able to seize the airwaves and the backing of those in power. I'm not saying Russian society is tolerant - it certainly is more homophobic than the West, but isn't the picture you're painting of Russia a bit ... extreme?
I for one, would be very surprised if homosexuality is recriminalized. It's one thing to be offended by "homosexual propaganda", but it's another to start throwing people in jail for things they do in private. This isn't a crackdown on homosexuality alone, it's part of an across-the-board suppression of human rights. It's just that it's better for United Russia if they can tie it to boosting the Church's image at the same time. Their laws to prevent gay people from adopting is clearly pure PR, much like American laws restricting free travel to Cuba, though the former is much more relevant. Objectively, that law doesn't change much to society, it's just a big loud statement.
From this perspective, I feel that the LGBT movement in Russia has been done a great disservice by activists like Pussy Riot and kiss-in protests. It's not a smart move to offend one of the pillars of society and nationalism if your goal is to win the hearts and minds of the people. Politics isn't solely about the message, it's also about survival - so the LGBT movement really have to up their game in order to give the people they support the fight they need.
A small addition: The sources we have for the LGBT fight in Russia are really really scarce. I must've flipped from almost 10 google pages, and all of them had pretty much the same article. Furthermore, the articles now (June) had the some of the same passages as similar ones in January, when the bill was being drawn up/first presented in parliament (don't remember the details). Also, some of the January articles were titled "Russia votes to criminalize homosexuality" which is a blatant overstatement because nowhere, not even now, do I see mention of anybody touching sodomy laws. It is clear to me that the sources in Western, perhaps even English media, is simply of insufficient coverage and of poor quality. Are there any Russia "insiders" or Russia watchers that can give a more objective, detailed, boots-on-the-ground report of what's going on?
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