News / Europe

Russian Conservatism on Gay Issues Provokes Clash With West

Russian Conservatism on Gay Issues Provokes Clash With Westi
X
September 05, 2013 12:13 AM
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.
James Brooke
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.

You May Like

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Fake, Substandard Medicines Pose Global Challenge

So-called 'fake drugs' include expired medicines, those with manufacturing defects, and bogus tablets 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.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs