News / Europe

Russian Conservatism on Gay Issues Provokes Clash With West

Russian Conservatism on Gay Issues Provokes Clash With Westi
X
September 05, 2013
Gay marriage is increasingly legal in Europe and gay pride parades are massive events in European capitals. VOA's James Brooke takes a look at how gays are faring in Russia, sometimes seen as Europe’s largest nation.
TEXT SIZE - +
— Gay marriage is increasingly legal in Europe. Gay parades are massive events in European capitals. So how are gays faring in Russia, sometimes seen as Europe’s largest nation?

In Russia, Max “The Hatchet” cruises gay Internet dating sites and then lures young gay men for “re-education” sessions at the hands of his “neo-Nazis.”
 
Max’s group, Occupy Pedophilia, has spread to five Russian cities.
 
Police look the other way.
 
Levada Center sociologist Maria Plotko says that nearly half of Russians interviewed recently by pollsters say police should not protect gays from attacks.
 
“Public opinion in Russia shows us that the homophobia, the rate of homophobia, is pretty high. And I think it is the influence of strong propaganda,” says Plotko.
 
Levada’s polls show that Russians became more conservative about homosexuality over the last decade. Over 80 percent oppose gay parades and gay marriage. Two-thirds back President Vladimir Putin’s new “anti-gay propaganda law.”
 
For many gay Russians, the way out is the airport.
 
Vitaly, a Moscow student, said this of his gay university friends:
 
"Nearly every [gay] student wants to leave or knows the ways, and in case of emergency we can and we will emigrate to any better country," said Vitaly.
 
Anton Krasovsky came out as gay on his TV show to protest the anti-gay law. Within hours, he was fired. Now, he gets letters from gays all over Russia.
 
He says people write about being fired from their jobs, being watched by neighbors, beaten in buses and in apartment building stairwells. He adds that attackers know that Russia’s police will not intervene.
 
Posted on the Internet, many gay attack videos have been seen around the world.
 
In the United States and Europe, they have sparked anti-Putin protests, like one in Amsterdam in late August, with the city mayor saying that "Love is not propaganda."
 
But, Alina Alieva, a Russian tourist who was near the demonstration, told a reporter that Europeans should mind their own business.
 
“They shouldn’t do this because it can worsen the situation. We have different countries and we have different situations and different histories between these countries,” said Alieva.
 
Sochi as test case

To protest Russia’s conservatism on homosexuality, gay activists are targeting the Winter Olympics, which will be held next February in Sochi, Russia.
 
Some are pushing for a boycott.
 
Anton Krasovsky, the gay television journalist, calls for protests - during the Olympics.
 
He says the Olympics can be educational. If athletes parade waving rainbow flags, that will be more helpful for Russian gays and lesbians in Russia than a boycott, says he.
 
Pollster Masha Plotko predicts foreign pressure will backfire.
 
“If you don't like our law, if you don't respect us, okay you can boycott it. But other countries will come,” says Plotko.
 
In Moscow, many analysts say that foreign protests play into the hands of President Putin. Foreign pressure will provoke Russians to close ranks with the Kremlin.

James Brooke

A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Jason Chenard from: New Hampshire, USA
September 05, 2013 1:02 PM
The sad state of affairs in Russia aside, reading the comments on this article is a truly depressing exercise. It's astonishing that so many people are still so ignorant and bigoted, in an era where scientific information is so readily accessible.

And to those of you who still think that homosexuality is a 'choice' or a 'lifestyle': You're wrong, and also FYI, you won't fall off the edge if you sail too far from shore.

Pathetic.


by: Mary Waterton from: USA
September 05, 2013 11:38 AM
I never thought I'd see the day when I'd have to admit that Russians have better morals than Americans & Europeans - but it's happened. Things have gone seriously wrong in the west.

In Los Angeles, CA (where I live) they are teaching homosexuality to children as young as (((5))) in the public schools. It's clearly a recruiting operation. I've seen it firsthand and it's enough to make you want to vomit. The only recourse you have is to send your child to private school.

Russia has it right. America has it wrong.

In Response

by: DataJack from: USA
September 05, 2013 1:07 PM
Oh Mary, you know that is not true. There is no such thing as "teaching homosexuality". Are they teaching these 5 year olds sex positions in LA (where you live)? No, they aren't. Didn't that long-haired bearded gentleman who started your religion (and who was so very much nicer than you) have something to say about lying?

Also, luckily for you, you now have another recourse besides sending your child to private school. You can move to Russia!
A government persecuting it citizenry is wrong. It is never "moral" to persecute people.


by: Lara
September 05, 2013 9:10 AM
Hey, guys, that issue is not about homosexuality, it's about rights!.. I'm straight, if you are concerned.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
September 04, 2013 11:47 PM
It is the fact that there exist those who prefer homosexuality. Imaginning if I were homosexual, what should I do to get my approval of identification from heterosexual others most effectively? I I suppose it would not be to claim our rights loudly like on demonstrations but to account for our own tastes calmly.Thank you.


by: DataJack from: USA
September 04, 2013 7:55 PM
This is not "Russian conservatism". This is Russian Bigotry. How would the world responds if Russia replaced "gays" with "Jews", "blacks", or "Catholics"?

In Response

by: DataJack from: USA
September 05, 2013 1:14 PM
Oh, Mary, your bigotry and dishonesty are so unflattering on you. You should try a new look. Homosexuality is not a new race, nor is it a life style choice (anymore than heterosexuality is a life style choice). It is more akin to being left-handed. Or Blonde. You can choose to hide those things if you wanted to, or had to. But why should you?
Persecuting people because they are different is wrong.

In Response

by: Mary Waterton from: USA
September 05, 2013 11:41 AM
Homosexuals are not a newly discovered race. It's a lifestyle choice ..... like smoking, drinking, taking drugs, visiting prostitutes, etc.


by: lon reg from: australia
September 04, 2013 7:52 PM
youd be surprized how many western people applaud russian stance.

In Response

by: socal1200r from: USA
September 05, 2013 10:50 AM
Good for Putin and Russia, for standing up to the LGBT freak show. Hope they stay the course during the Olympics at Sochi, and detain/deport any openly LGBT pervs that show up.

In Response

by: DataJack from: USA
September 04, 2013 8:23 PM
And every one of them is wrong, bigoted, and immoral to do so. Legislating away civil rights from a group because they are not in compliance with the majority is undemocratic.


by: Dee from: los angeles
September 04, 2013 7:48 PM
What do we care how Russia feels about this issue? Gays are fine in Russia as long as they stay away from children and that's the way it should be here. They are ahead of us on this issue. Ask yourself why gays are so eager to go into the schools? Since being gay is about who you like to have sex with and kids are underage, what's the point? Who are we to force our views on other people and other cultures? This is just another version of the ugly American and something that was never American before.....censorship of those who disagree with those who have a stranglehold on popular culture.

In Response

by: DataJack from: USA
September 04, 2013 8:31 PM
Actually, we care if any country discriminates against its own citizens. Also, this has nothing to do with children, really. Also, ask yourself, why do you feel compelled to tell complete lies ("gays are so eager to go into the schools?") in order to denigrate people you have never met, who have never done anything to you?
Also: expressing an opinion that someone is being bigoted (especially when the ARE being bigoted) is not censorship. Really.
You are right about the gays having a stranglehold on pop culture though: We get time off for their holidays (Christmas and Easter), most of us don't work on their holy day (Sunday), their motto is on our money ("In God We Trust"), their prayers are said before congress and many state and local assemblies...oh, wait. That's not gays. It's you.


by: Mortran from: West-Germany
September 04, 2013 7:45 PM
What is this American obsession about gay rights about? A nation that discriminates and persecutes sex-workers and finances hate-monger campaigns against prostitution has no moral ground to criticize other countries for their stance on homosexuality.

In Response

by: Plain Mirror Intl from: Plain Planet-Africa
September 07, 2013 4:35 AM
God bless you Mortra from West-Germany and May God bless the great Vlademir Putin of Russia


by: Phil from: CNY
September 04, 2013 7:45 PM
God Bless Putin

In Response

by: DataJack from: USA
September 04, 2013 8:36 PM
Does your god really bless people for institutionalizing discrimination? Does he bless the skin head street gangs for beating people up, too? How about the Russian cops who look the other way when the skin heads are beating up one of the citizens they are sworn to protect? Do they get blessed, too?
Congratulations! You share a god with Hitler. Well done.


by: rltmd317 from: USA
September 04, 2013 7:37 PM
What a lot of the backward world does not seem to understand relationships between the same sexes has been going on since the beginning of time. I am not particularly promoting it just to allow young people to make their own decision without external pressures. I am in my sixties and have known and been friends with gay men for most of my life. My stance has always been whatever makes you happy. And as a heterosexual male there is less competition is a good thing.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid