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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    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.

    by: BEN TEN TEN from: PHILLY
    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
     Previous    

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora