News / Europe

Russian Conservatism on Gay Issues Provokes Clash With West

Russian Conservatism on Gay Issues Provokes Clash With Westi
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

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

Survivor: Gunman Spared 'Lucky One' to Give Police Message

Law enforcement official says a manifesto of several pages was recovered; contents not revealed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Snobby Bone
September 04, 2013 7:28 PM
The only conflict i see is between the liberal and everyone else cause most people don't want queers around them and surely don't want queers near their kids, but the jewish controlled press does their best to create conflict in USA.. they follow the grand plan laid on in The Chronicles of the Elders of Zion.. this should be required reading, cause it explains exactly how the jews plan to suck all the wealth from the country while getting US to fight its war.. support the blacks and queers and instigate tension in press and movies and entertainement

by: Robb from: Warren, Michigan
September 04, 2013 7:26 PM
"Conservatism"? Is that a synonym for bigoted? Oh right, it is.

September 04, 2013 7:12 PM
How about an anti-fornication movement period, because one sin is no worst than another, gay or straight.

by: ben from: austin
September 04, 2013 7:09 PM
This is just the saddest GD thing in the world.
Some nations seem hell bent on turning back every decent, humanistic, scientific, civil rights step forward the world has made over the last 50 years. All I can say is, GET OUT IF YOU CAN. Thank God I live in America, yet again! We have our own neo nazis and religious freaks, but thankfully they are few and far between.
Comments page of 2

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs