Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Russia codifies extreme anti-gay bigotry

By Michael J.W. Stickings

While I respect the position Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking on the whole Snowden saga, there's really nothing else I like about the guy, and more and more it looks like he and his ilk want to turn their country into a right-wing dictatorship resembing the fascist states of old. For example:

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law [on Sunday] one of the most draconian anti-gay laws on the planet.

The new law, coming only seven months before Russia is to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi, would ban anything considered pro-gay, from gay-affirmative speech, to gays holding hands in public, to even wearing rainbow suspenders.

The law also contains a provision permitting the government to arrest and detain gay, or pro-gay, foreigners for up to 14 days before they would then be expelled from the country.  That provision ought to send chills to anyone gay, lesbians, bisexual or transgender who is planning to attend or participate in the Winter Olympics.

It is now literally illegal in Russia to say that you are gay.  It is illegal to kiss your partner in public – say, after you win a gold medal.  It is illegal for a gay athlete to wear the rainbow flag.  Or even to acknowledge during an interview that they are gay – or for the foreign press to acknowledge it – unless they mention that gay sexual orientation in a negative way.

Yes, Russia makes even Texas look progressive.

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