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

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

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site 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.
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