by Melanie Nathan, September 12, 2013.
I believe that it is also because of the hard work of Western LGBT activists, that these kind of reports are coming out of Moscow. We have provided the imperative attention needed to serve as the underpin for discussions and revealing articles such as this one that appears in the Moscow Times. Activists in the West have conducted protests, rallies, vigils, called for boycotts and the removal of the Winter Olympics from Sochi, as well as the removal of Miss Universe by Donald Trump, from Russia.
Lest we forget the exporting of hate by our own U.S. radical Christian extremist Scott Lively – follow his boasts on his blog to see how he admits influencing Russia’s anti-gay sentiment. Maybe he should have an honorary mention here too.
7 Villains of Russia’s Gay Rights Movement
(Photo Essay) 12 September 2013 | Issue 5211
The Moscow Times
Nothing has captured the attention of Russia and the world quite like the anti-gay law that President Vladimir Putin signed in law this summer.
Emotions have run high in the camps of critics and supporters alike, with calls in the West for boycotts of the Sochi Winter Olympics and Russian vodka and equally loud protests at home for the West to butt out of Russia’s domestic affairs.
The law, unanimously approved by the State Duma, bans the promotion of “gay propaganda” among minors, and violators face fines and, for foreigners, expulsion from Russia. Its supporters say it aims to protect traditional Russian values from being eroded by Western influences. But rights activists say it has encouraged a surge in homophobia, including violent attacks against gays and people accused of being gay.
Here’s a look at seven of the most outspoken opponents of gay rights in Russia.
Milonov sees homosexuality as a Western liberal idea that has no place in Russia. (Sergey Chernov / MT)
The federal anti-gay law can trace its roots to Vitaly Milonov, a St. Petersburg city lawmaker who wrote a similar law for the northern city last year (link). The 39-year-old father of two, who was baptized as a Baptist believer in 1991 and converted to the Russian Orthodox faith in 1998, sees homosexuality as a Western liberal idea that has no place in Russia.
“I am profoundly against gay parades because I am an Orthodox Christian and the demonstration of the sin of Sodom is repellent to me,” the United Russia member told The Moscow Times last year. “If, God forbid, I happened to see a crowd of those people — like they do in Berlin, I’ve seen photographs where men with all sorts of dildos are running around seminaked — it’s natural that I’d try to take my children aside so they would not see this perversion.”
Maxim Martsinkevich / Occupy Pedophilia
Martsinkevich is the leader of Occupy Pedophilia and an ultra-right nationalist that has served time for inciting ethnic hatred. (vkontakte)
Occupy Pedophilia is an ultra-nationalist movement with strong homophobic undercurrents whose aim is to shame and punish suspected pedophiles. The group and its militant leader, Maxim Martsinkevich, took credit for a recent online video that went viral, showing a man forced to drink urine as a cure for his homosexuality.
Occupy Pedophilia functions as a loose network of anti-gay vigilante groups that use social media to publicize their statements and actions, often posting violent videos that include torture and bullying of their victims. The Occupy Pedophilia group on Russian social network Vkontakte has almost 80,000 followers.
The Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church has colluded with the state in trying to shape a national identity based on conservative values. (Igor Tabakov / MT)
Together with federal authorities, the Russian Orthodox Church is the main supporter of the anti-gay law, which it says will assist its attempts to shape a new national identity based on conservative values. The church’s active stance has raised new questions about the separation between church and state and whether it and the government is failing to uphold another law — the Russian Constitution and its promise of equal rights. The church also propagates the myth that homosexuality and pedophilia are synonymous.
The Moscow Times