News / Europe

Russia Prepares Law to Ban ‘Gay Propaganda’

Russia Prepares National Law to Ban 'Gay Propaganda'i
X
May 06, 2013 7:41 PM
Last month, France became the ninth country in Europe to legalize gay marriage. But in Russia, opposition and intolerance are the trend. James Brooke reports from Moscow.
Russia Prepares National Law to Ban 'Gay Propaganda'
James Brooke
When a gay group held a film festival in Moscow in April, there were the usual anti-gay protesters. But this time, there was an unexpected visitor: a policeman armed with a Kalashnikov, checking ID’s.
 
Later this month, Russia’s Duma is expected to give final approval to a vaguely worded bill that would ban "homosexual propaganda" accessible to minors. 
 
Despite protests, the bill won nearly unanimous approval in a preliminary vote last January.
 
Last month, France became the ninth country in Europe to legalize gay marriage. But in Russia, the trend is going in the opposition direction, away from tolerance.
 
Manny de Guerre, a long-term British resident of Russia, helped organize “Side by Side,” the gay film festival in Moscow.
 
“The impact of the law is that it creates fear in society,” said de Guerre who attended the festival with her partner. “It gives the green light to Orthodox activists, to nationalists, that it’s OK to beat up lesbian and gay people, that it’s OK to discriminate against them.”
 
Putin defiant
 
With Russia increasingly standing out in isolation to the liberal trends of Western Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin faced gay protesters when he visited Holland last month.
 
Back in Moscow, Putin was defiant when asked about European criticism.
 
"How can they demand that we introduce their standards?” he demanded in a nationally televised call in show. “Or maybe we should demand that they instill our standards in that country? Let's not demand anything from each other. Let's treat each other with respect."
 
Putin’s conservatism is backed by a nationwide Levada poll conducted in February. Two-thirds of respondents backed laws banning "gay propaganda."  And large majorities said that gay propaganda could mean banning books, films, protests and parades.
 
Vladimir Ryzhkov, an opposition politician, says Putin is in step with Russian public opinion.
 
“It’s not like everyone wants a gay parade and Putin is against it,” said Ryzhkov, co-founder of the liberal Republic Party of Russia.  “In this case, his point of view is exactly the same as 90 percent of the population.” 
 
'Family values'
 
At the offices of Young Guard, a Kremlin support group, Ekaterina Stenyakina, gives voice to mainstream Russians' distaste for homosexuality.
 
“We have traditional religions in which family values are among the most important of all,” said Stenyakina, a leader of the group. “That’s why our country, our state, is not ready for this kind of manifestation - gay parades on main squares.”
 
Oleg Grannikov, a Moscow gay activist, says that in this environment most Russian gays keep their personal lives in the shadows.
 
“In Moscow, of course, the situation is better than in the regions,” he said during a break at the film festival. “But still, while people may be open with their friends, very few are open with their parents or at their job.”
 
And Russia’s new legislation seems designed to keep Russian gays firmly in the closet for years to come.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jim Brooke from: Moscow
May 08, 2013 7:23 AM
LGBT Film Festival Faces Prosecution under 'Foreign Agent' Law
15:09 08/05/2013

MOSCOW, May 8 (RIA Novosti) - St. Petersburg prosecutors have notified an international LGBT film festival, Side by Side, that they are violating Russia's law on “foreign agents,” the event’s organizers said on Wednesday.

Russia passed a law last November requiring all NGOs engaged in political activity, and receiving finance from abroad, to register as a "foreign agent." Critics say the term has overtones of spying and treason to many Russians, an allegation rejected by the law's author, United Russia lawmaker Alexander Sidyakin.

“On 6th May, 2013, the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival, received a ruling from the local prosecutor accusing the organization of violating Article 19.7 of the administrative code relating to the conduct of non-commercial organizations and their status as ‘foreign agents’,” reads an English-language statement posted on the festival’s website.

It says the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival offices were visited by inspectors from various Russian institutions, including the Ministry of Justice, tax service and police in recent weeks. The inspections were carried out as part of nationwide checks into various NGOs.

After the checks, the prosecutors decided that the organization had violated the law on two occasions: by publishing a brochure “The Worldwide LGBT Movement: Local Practices to Global Politics” and by taking part in a social awareness campaign against the recently adopted bill banning “gay propaganda” among minors.

Festival organizer Gulya Sultanova said the prosecutors’ notification was compiled with numerous irregularities.

“Clearly, the document was put together quickly and carelessly and there are glaring errors in regards to dates mentioned - this is a very important moment. They are focusing on content and citing activities that were made prior to 21 November, 2012 when the law concerning ‘foreign agents’ actually came into force,” the statement quotes the organizer as saying.

A magistrates’ court is to hear the case in late May.

by: Steven from: Leong
May 06, 2013 12:34 PM
I used to think that Russia was advanced in education, technology, and scientific study. How did they transform into a religious dictated nation.

So, who created Gays? GOD. What does this TRUTH do to those in Russia, who condemn, discriminate, and crucify their own Gay children? It's in God's hands - what one sows, so shall they reap.

The choice is out there. Many countries have established equality among Gay and straight citizens. They have then, moved on to find solutions to important issues, like poverty, jobless and homeless.

Russia is stuck in pride and fear, fighting their Gay offspring. I will pray for their enlightenment.
In Response

by: freddy from: charlotte
May 30, 2013 2:42 PM
Welp, if USA powers lowered the chlorine et al in the drinking water then reproduction would go up.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs