Political leaders in St. Petersburg are about to vote on law that will make it illegal for any person to write a book, publish an article or speak in public about being gay, lesbian or transgender. The ruling party led by President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin could make millions of people invisible with the stroke of a pen.
Human rights defenders around the country are doing everything they can to stop it. They are risking their freedom to organize flashmobs and protests, but they are afraid that it won't be enough.
Right now, the world needs to speak up and tell Russian authorities to drop the bill. Join this call to leaders around the world to reach out to their counterparts in the Russian government - and ask them to reject this discriminatory and anti-democratic law.
My goodness; the Russians they are so closed-minded; they are only denying a reality; and what harm do gay people pose anyway?; I can think of so many other things that are a direct harm to the Russian authorities; why is there such a big clampdown on people from the LGBT community?
This would tend to indicate that Putin and Medvedev are lovers.
Yup, those Russians are just so close-minded, my goodness, not like the USA or anything. Gays in USA have so many rights. It's not like that could happen in the USA
I suggested that gay people go back in the closet; on a gay message board; but oh my; those Russians; they are so closed minded.
r3 cannot be serious.
That society has really collapsed culturally and stigmatizing gays won't help. What gave us ballet, great novels and music is now content with crime syndicates and circus.
I would encourage Obama to just get rid of Russia. That's what I would do. Drop the bomb, and just wipe my hands to them. Problem solved.
r6, there's nothing wrong with The Circus.
r7 is the reason why America is going Third World.
I'll get rid of you next, R9.
"gay" in english or "gay" in russian? How many russians understand english? Come up with synonym: jolly, merry... "gay" is over-worked anyway
I bet Michele Bachmann thinks this a great idea.
Rick Santorum, too.
Don't forget the US conservatives gave us the "don't say gay" bill.
To be fair, it sounds horrible with a Russian accent.
"Cocksucker", on the other hand, sounds sexy.
Like the USA is going to say anything about this. Tennessee just passed a similar law.
Before we unleash the nukes, let's get all the facts. It is Putin's party all right, but it also seems to be confined to St Petersburg according to some articles, though not in others.
So gays can confidently write off trips to Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Carribean.
R16 only if your lack of education leads you to believe that the city of St Petersburg comprises the whole of Eastern Europe.
They ruined West Hollywood, now this.
[italic]Tennessee just passed a similar law.[/italic]
Prediction: *lots* of closeted Russian men will head to the US, Europe and Canada now because of this. It's like the entire country is wholly against it.
The USA should just invade those motherfuckers.
I feel sorry for the Russian gays but I'd be afraid to date one that immigrated to this country. All I've ever heard is about how drunk, abusive and duplicitous Russian people are.
You can still fuck whoever you want, you just can't be "gay".
It's a war on modern "identity politics".
[quote]What gave us ballet, great novels and music is now content with crime syndicates and circus.
Don't forget krokodil! It's the new meth!
I'm sure some idiot DLer who blames everything negative happening in Europe on "Muzzies" and/or non-whites will manage to do the same with Russia because outside of those groups, ignorance doesn't exist.
r22 - You feel badly for gay Russians facing this discrimination, but are content with your own prejudice against Russians?
[quote]I'm sure some idiot DLer who blames everything negative happening in Europe on "Muzzies" and/or non-whites will manage to do the same with Russia because outside of those groups, ignorance doesn't exist.
Don't forget the Jews! We blame them too!
[quote]I would encourage Obama to just get rid of Russia. That's what I would do. Drop the bomb
Oh yes, that will REALLY help Russian gays and lesbians.
There are some US states who are worse than Russia is right now.
r29, that is not the same thing. What an idiot you are.
Ah, Saint Petersburg.
The city where I stepped over the same dead body on the street twice. Once on the way to work and once five hours later on my way home.
The city where even the most educated and well traveled Russians I met defended skinheads for murdering a little girl for being a dark skinned Tajik. Those Central Asians are taking Russian jobs, you know?
The city where my African friends lived every day in terror, racing along very specific routes to school to home to work to home. No strolling, no sight seeing, no casual chat in a cafe. Every single dark skinned immigrant I met while living there had been attacked at least once. My Kenyan friend was dragged to the ground by her hair in broad daylight just off of Nevsky Prospect. Then she was kicked in the face repeatedly while being called horrible names. In public. No one did anything.
The city where my Uzbek friend spent Hitler's birthday hiding, under direction of her university, in a central, windowless dorm room with the rest of the foreign students. Meanwhile, gangs of skinheads attempted to beat down the doors to attack them. No authorities ever bothered to respond. Just told the foreigners to stay inside. This happened every year she lived in the dorm. She is now a very successful surgeon in NYC. Has no desire to return to Russia.
The city where I saw a sixty something woman jump to her death from her window. She layed out in the crowded street all morning. I had breakfast and peeked out. She was still there. Took a shower and dressed. She was still there. Made tea. She was still there. Put on my shoes, coat and gloves and went downstairs. She was still there. Did like the Russians and averted my eyes, turning left rather than my usual right which would have taken me past her. Who knows when someone finally showed up to scoop her up, identify her, or (ha) investigate any foul play.
"We have no gay people in Russia — there are homosexuals but they are not allowed to be gay about it. The punishment is seven years locked in prison with other men and there is a three-year waiting list for that."
Russia needs a civil society, but one where gays are put in rehabs and the opposition is locked in a political ghetto, said Christian activists who tear “blasphemous” T-shirts off people and barge into theaters and museums to preach.
“Our traditional values are being destroyed by people who consciously chose the path of evil,” Dimitry Enteo said in an interview.
Grassroots Christian activism used to be exotic in Russia, but Enteo and his “brothers in Christ” have catapulted it to national spotlight through a string of recent antics tethering on the brink of legality.
They preach to prostitutes, Protestants, antifascists and migrant workers; they picket opposition events and banned gay pride parades – frequently ending in detention despite their pro-Kremlin sympathies – and run a psychological help service for New Age addicts.
But Enteo and his friend Andrei Kaplin said they are as much a part of Russian society as any liberal protester to take to the streets in recent months, and deserve a public voice.
“We must work to create a civil society now, and do it without excluding the believers,” Enteo said on Thursday. He conceded the work is only just beginning.
For many, the awakening of Russia’s civil society began with rallies against Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency, which attracted tens of thousands between December and June.
Most protesters were young, educated urbanites – Enteo’s very target group. He shares a special bond with them, admitting to have been a liberal who dabbled in esotericism before he “understood the Universe has a creator.”
However, the way the Christian activists are trying to reach their flock is nothing if not unorthodox. Last Sunday, they stripped a man off a T-shirt in support of members of the art collective Pussy Riot, jailed on charges of fanning religious hatred by means of a “punk prayer” at a church. This week, they stormed a Moscow theater showing a play about Pussy Riot, and later – the G-Spot, a museum of erotic art. Just to preach, they say.
Homophobia Will Save Us
What they want is for Russia to return to traditional values, the duo said.
Only two of those remain – homophobia and the need for a strong state – and removing them would undo Russia, Kaplin said.
Gay relationships should not be criminalized, but gays have to be prohibited from publicly promoting their lifestyle and instead given the opportunity to check into rehabs that treat their “deviation,” Kaplin said.
As for the opposition, the radicals among it are threatening a bloody revolution and need to be countered with both legislative action and civil activism, he said.
“There is no such thing as ‘secular morals,’” Enteo agreed, speaking about his ideological opponents.
“It’s just a label that covers up infernal powers. Satan is always posing as an angel of light,” he said, as if passionately preaching to his past self.
But Kaplin conceded the opposition has its uses, praising it for environmental activism. The protesters are entitled to five percent of seats in Parliament, but should not leave that ghetto, said Kaplin.
Both said they voted for Putin, whom their praised for his religiousness, and dismissed criticism toward church leadership, which was accused by its liberal opponents of living a life of luxury while allying with the authorities. Church head Patriarch Kirill endorsed Putin’s presidential bid, allegedly prompting Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer.”
Preaching to Prostitutes
During sermons at the theater and the museum, Enteo and Kaplin were accompanied by a camera crew from NTV, a pro-government television channel known for its vicious attacks on the Kremlin’s enemies.
The channel was even nicknamed “Surkov’s propaganda” in reference to current Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov, the Kremlin’s once all-powerful political mastermind – who, incidentally, was tasked earlier in August with overseeing the government’s relations with the church.
Both Enteo and Kaplin denied any ties to the government or church leadership, which is yet to comment on their actions.
“I don’t represent the church, I’m just a civil activist, though a deeply religious one,” Enteo said.
Their informal group has actually been active for years, preaching to the liberal opposition and non-believers of all stripes in “a language that people would understand,” Enteo said.
Driving the point home, during the interview Kaplin unfurled a makeshift poster of an angel modeled on the famous depiction of Uncle Sam, the frowning visage and pointing finger accompanied by the question: “Do you preserve virginity until marriage?” The two flaunted the poster at several pro-life pickets in recent months, drawing the attention of Russian bloggers.
One of their “brothers in Christ” has a habit of picking up prostitutes, paying them and then talking to them about chastity instead of “reveling in depravity,” Kaplin said.
But the activists have only gained exposure now, piggybacking the Pussy Riot trial, an international cause célèbre.
The activists took much flack for their stunts, both from the liberal non-believers and many Christians, including prominent media figure Archdeacon Andrei Kurayev, who said Enteo is “not all there.”
But Enteo said they were also flooded with calls and letters of support.
The group has a core of between 50 and 100 “trained missionaries,” but is capable of bringing out thousands in the streets, the activists claimed.
Martyrdom Not Excluded
Both Enteo, 23, and Kaplin, 30, refused to speak about their occupations or private lives.
But they said they are disciples of the late Orthodox Christian priest Daniil Sysoyev, known for his missionary work among Moscow’s Muslims and his criticism of Islam. He was shot dead in a church in 2009, the murder still unsolved but blamed on his missionary activism.
“OK, and now we might get killed. That’d be cool,” Kaplin said during the interview, when the conversation was interrupted by Enteo reading about a twin murder in Kazan, featuring “Free Pussy Riot” scribbled on the wall in blood, on his tablet PC.
“That’d be cool,” agreed Enteo, who said he has been beaten by Krishna followers before. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they kill us.”
But martyrdom may remain elusive for now: the killing turned out to have been perpetrated not by a liberal fanatic, but by the lover of one of the victims who wanted to throw the investigators off.
I hate the fact that I find Medvedev unbearably hot.
So... back to their scary scary ways. Freedom? Nyet!
Jamaica pales in comparison to Russia. Russians have this inexplicable notion that they are culturally superior and should rule the world. They are inherently more culturally supremicist than Jamaica. They also have more church-state integration than Jamaica because there is only real one official church in Russsia, whereas Jamaica has more religious diversity.
They tried the same shit in Ukraine but protests from the West killed that bill. For now.
Russia has got Fuck Off Money and won't be dictated to.
What really pisses/scares me, is that by legislating, people won't say it! Just ban the word! And the stupid people FORGET the word! Wow. Siberia for uttering a word.
I'd be on a train in a nano second. Just tell me not to say something. Just try it
In place of 'gay", we will now call the boys 'Friends of Dasha'. The girls we will continue to be call 'Home Depot'.
Russians are exactly like Arabs only blond, with lots of booze, sex, corruption and some glorious cultural history. That's all.
Tchaikovsky, Diaghilev, Eisenstein and Nureyev, among others, will need to be airbrushed. Not that that's been a problem in the past.
It's ironic because many of ruling United Russia party members are gay. I guess that's how they try to flirt with conservative electorate, exactly like Republicans did in US. Large liberal protests really scared them so they try to find allies on other side.
I liked Russia better when it was the communist USSR and very few people made it to the US. TheRussians I deal with through work are frightening.
[quote] Russians have this inexplicable notion that they are culturally superior and should rule the world.
Is that why they are big welfare and medicaid fraudsters?
I was so scared for the Beekman Boys in Moscow on The Amazing Race. I understand the producers provide you with a lecture on decorum, but one slip and they both could have been shot by the state.
Just when I was getting nostalgic about the two years I lived in Saint Petersburg. I was looking at old photos just a few minutes ago, wishing I could do it all over again. Yet, it was so miserable in many ways and I am not surprised about the worsening conditions for gays in Russia. Add them to the long list of people that are intensely and openly HATED by Russians.
Russians are closed-minded, rude and mean.
They bully others for being of a different skin color etc.
I hope they get hit by another meteor, this time on Moscow.
[quote]My goodness; the Russians they are so closed-minded; they are only denying a reality; and what harm do gay people pose anyway?; I can think of so many other things that are a direct harm to the Russian authorities; why is there such a big clampdown on people from the LGBT community?
Because gays are the perfect scapegoats!!!
The Russians are just Arabs that are blond, consume alcohol and fuck like there's no tomorrow. No other differences otherwise. That's why they are such good friends.
Is it really male to male sex they're against, or is it the western media's portrayal of "gay" (i.e. men who pretend to be pseudo-women and adopt a snotty bitchy attitude about it and are an embarrassment to their gender)? Maybe there's hope that the latter is what causes the disgust.
R3 really looks like a total shitbag now.
To understand this law it helps to understand Russian culture. Here's my take...
Homosexuality was illegal during the Soviet period, and punishment usually entailed 5 years imprisonment in a labor camp. Soviet citizens were taught that homosexuality was a psychological disease that would infect the healthy heterosexual population if homosexuals were not disciplined and punished. This is a popular opinion that still exists in Russia today, and many Russians still believe gays should receive mandatory psychiatric treatment or be "quarantined". Homosexuality is viewed as dangerous and seditious.
Today, homosexuality is legal in Russia but laws basically dictate that gays should be neither seen or heard. So gays still have to live their lives in secret as they did in under the Soviet, and still face violence and discrimination, the only good news being that if discovered in their own homes they can no longer be arrested and imprisoned.
[quote] Today, homosexuality is legal in Russia but laws basically dictate that gays should be neither seen or heard. So gays still have to live their lives in secret as they did in under the Soviet, and still face violence and discrimination, the only good news being that if discovered in their own homes they can no longer be arrested and imprisoned.
r58 So, it's ok if they hate the e.ffeminat.e gays (because you hate them too) but there's no way they could or should hate the "manly" gays, right? It's only the girly gays that ruin it for everybody. It's like those women who ask to be raped, you know.
r62, your agenda is transparent because of the propaganda terms (lies) in your post. We're not talking about anyone's natural self here. It's about people who put on a bitchy act and adopt mannerisms and jargon that are designed to be embarrassing -- and spew it in the face of anyone around. It's like they are paid operatives to make gays seem uncool. You think people aren't turned off by that? You wonder why kids say "that's so gay" when they're talking about something lame and embarrassing?
All the demonizing of gay males has had an effect, so it's not unreasonable to wonder just what the perception of "gay" is in Russia.
And "manly"? That's your word. I don't think it's too much to ask guys to just be themselves and not put on some genderbending fuck-you act.
[quote] We're not talking about anyone's natural self here. It's about people who put on a bitchy act and adopt mannerisms and jargon that are designed to be embarrassing -- and spew it in the face of anyone around. It's like they are paid operatives to make gays seem uncool. You think people aren't turned off by that?
Everytime a straight person acts like an annoying twat is their sexuality put up for debate?
Well fuck you back r64 for lying. There's no widespread effort by the media to portray "annoying twat" as representative of heterosexuality. Hets aren't demonized by the embarrassing behavior of a few. Gays are.
"Lets act how the straight people tell us toooo!!! We get no rights otherwise!"
So r66 thinks straight people are "telling us" to be ourselves and act natural?
Well good for the straights I guess.
Being yourself and acting natural can vary from individual to individual. Some are naturally [childish epithet posted by a bigoted tool]. Some are naturally masculine. This is called diversity and most gay people embrace it because it mirrors the same values behind our common civil rights struggle: to be accepted as equals.
You know what's not masculine? Fretting over what people think of you or being obsessed with other people's business. "Insecurity" is definitely not a masculine trait. As a naturally masculine gay male, I always find the overcompensating types like R65 to be extremely insecure about their own masculinity. Many of them are still the same playground closet-cases who were always the quickest to pick on the "fag", just to distance themselves and quell their own self-loathing.
The word "gay" in Russian is also a synonym for the color blue. How are they supposed to talk about the weather?
"The sky is looking very heterosexual today!"
r68, what kind of cult did you join that instilled those talking points? Really all you did was wishfully project something (you unwittingly admit is a negative) onto someone else so you could insult them. You would have been much more honest about your feelings if you had just said, "you're right, but it makes me mad! You suck!" Because that's really all you said.
Anybody else notice that it's always the defenders of the "gays are e-ffeminate" concept who throw around the word "masculine" so much? Odd.
Russia and Tennessee now.
I wonder if they like Country Music in Russia too?
Looks like we can now tell homophobes to go to Russia if they object to gays getting equal rights here.
[quote]Anybody else notice that it's always the defenders of the "gays are e-ffeminate" concept who throw around the word "masculine" so much? Odd.
Yes. I mentioned something similar in the other Russia thread. I think the word they're using there is "butch" which is much more ridiculous, but it's the same people. They do it because they see gender in weird cartoonish extremes.
Well here's how one CRRRRAAAAAZZZZY bitch gets her protest groove on. Eeeek! o_0
Russia is a petro-state now. This is what happens to petro-states. Lowest cultural denominator.
This is truly the worst thing happening in the world right now. Anyone who fails to recognize the parallels with the rise of Adolfo Hitler and the Nazi party is more than ignorant-they are unforgivably stupid. It is imperative that we speak out against this horror and that we insist Obama do the same. If this leads to a 21st century Holocaust a significant part of the blame will go to our do-little President who speaks out in solidarity with a gay basher, but takes a nap while this atrocity is unfolding.
And what are you talking about R4? Being in the closet-especially in this day and age-is an act of unforgivable cowardice.
En realidad amaba a los gays.
Maldito Adolfo. Yo sabía que te gustaba chupar las pollas de todos los Judios guapos!Maldito Adolfo. Yo sabíia que te daba gusto mamarles las penes a todos los guapos judíos gays!
Could someone please translate for R78 and R79? They must not realize that this is an American website.
Creo que el pulpo es un pendejo total. No creo que pudieramos encontrar una persona mas idiota si lo intentamos.
Lol! That's funny R82! If it's any consolation, Octopus, we're laughing at you in English.
Sorry about the typo everyone, I obviously mean to say "Adolf Hitler," I saw just now that auto-correct changes it to "Adolfo." I think we've all been embarrassed by auto-correct. If you want to think that means I'm not smart go ahead, what's happening in Russia is a nightmare and if you ask me we should get over ourselves and come together to speak out about it. But, it's easier to laugh at me over a typo, I suppose. Very sad. Very, very sad.
It was all in good fun, RO. "Pointless bitchery" is part of the "fix" here at DL.
You're right, though: Russia's ongoing witch hunt means torture and death for countless lives. It makes me so damned angry that the rest of the world is sitting idly by.
r87 "Those who do not remember their history are doomed to repeat it." The feeling of dread I have is growing by the day. Has that entire country gone mad?
Yeah me too R87. I wrote to the President, my U.S. Senators and my Congressman expressing my concern about it and my opinion that we should seriously consider boycotting the Olympics. I wish the gay community could come together and make a stand against this unless attacking each other (or me) when we're on the verge of seeing our Russian brothers and sisters marched into gay concentration camps. This is a time for unity.
Yes--we must be on the alert for signs that Russia's free, democratic society might become totalitarian.
Having an Octopus on DL is almost as fun as dumping one in a school of piranhas.
"Don't mention the GAY!" proclaimed the shirtless Putin, flexing his pectoral muscles.
Pink Freudian Slip
We all should write to Marat Safin, now s member of the Russian parliament, who is reportedly bi.
Is homosexuality outlawed in Russia?
Seriously, what do we do about Russia persecuting gays like this. How do we get the networks to report on the situation? How do we get the UN involved?
Honestly everybody that is posting and saying that Russians are close minded is really sad. Russia is not America. America has gay rights, good. Why get yourself involved in another country's business. If people are willing to risk so much to have gay rights and a government not budging, then why still complain. If they want to be freely gay... move to America. Russia has a shit ton of problems right now and why bother them even more. You know, it's not always America's way. Deal with it!
R96, you also probably would've recommended that the world stand idly by while Hitler gassed countless millions in the 40s. Try looking beyond your nose.
What a despicable response, r96. Unfortunately, your 'opinion' is fairly wide-spread. It's basically "this isn't our country and we have no right to interfere in their business."
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. When it comes to human rights, specifically in this case, when it comes to gay human beings beings mistreated, harmed and even killed, there are no borders, no countries.
Anyone who believes in basic human rights should be taking a stand against violations of those rights, regardless of the country, the culture, the religion, the politics, or whatever else is driving the hatred.
There are two compelling reasons why this is needed. 1) Because people are being harmed, and 2) because any violation of human rights ultimately allows and encourages other violations.
Martin Niemöller famously said it best:
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me."