Jonathan Wolfman's Blog
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MAY 8, 2012 6:52AM

Russia, Striving Hard Against Homosexual Propaganda

Rate: 22 Flag
    Nikolai Alekskeyev
     Russians should not have bothered to bury Leningrad: it should swiftly strip St. Petersburg of its name and happily swap it yet again for...oh, why not? --  go all the way and call it Stalingrad. Oh, I know that's Volgograd, but given what the town fathers of St. Pete have just done, perhaps they'd do better to wear Stalin's name with pride.
     In a move that suggests Russia's working hard to grasp the intellectual and moral mandates of the 14th Century, St. Petersburg has instituted a law banning the distribution of what it calls "homosexual propaganda." The prohibited "propaganda" that so concerned St. Petersburg's City Council was a poster carried at a civil rights demonstration months back, a poster affirming that, according to Ellen Barry in the New York Times, "Homosexuality Is Not A Perversion".
     Seriously subversive, that....
     The poster-carrier, Nikolai Alekseyev,  has been fined $170, detained and roughed up in prison and threatened with more of the same should he publicly again suggest that LGBT people are people.
     Not to be bettered by a city dragging the country centuries backwards, Moscow has announced that the St. Petersburg law will become a model for the nation; a bill is now snaking its way through The Duma, the Russian legislature.
     It's heartening to know that Russia, now free and having so effectively nailed less immediate needs such as hunger and proper nutrition of its children, having so thoroughly modernized its medical, transport, education and economic systems, now has the time to micro-manage the intimate sex lives of The People.

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Whether in Uganda, Malaysia, Tanzania, Russia, or any nation where homophobia has been raised to the level of Public Policy, these human civil rights activists, men and women, deserve, at the very least, to be known as widely as possible.
Jon, just give Putin a little time. He'll climb, shirtless, on a horse and kick the shit out of somebody. It doesn't seem to matter who in Russia.
Kenny Well, they do seem to adore Mr. Putin. I'd rather see a man w an ounce of humanity lead that nation (as I am sure you would, too).
When Russia changes it's stance on this, the world will be another place in time.
Algis uhmhmm. Thanks, friend.
Very free, we can see that... the picture might be brighter, but in reality, nothing has changed... fear runs amok....
Ray and such unfounded fears are rather crazy.
I hadn't realized Russia was part of the Bible Belt which is dumb considering I knew it was the Red State
Kenneth You oughta see my smile!
"The beat goes on", he said sarcastically.
The Russians are a sad people in every way.
Bud and the beat-ings go on. :(
Miguela I bet Karl M. had wished a better nation had chosen to try to make his Manifesto real.
Perhaps the Russian people are just afraid of change. They have been repressed under Communism for a long time. Most of the current populace, in fact, knew nothing else. And still don't, really, since Putin's climb to power. He's just calling it something else. We all knew this was coming when we saw the news stories about his camps for indoctrinating children. Those kids are old enough to vote now, aren't they?

Here's what I don't get. Why is homosexuality so scary? You can't say "Pedophiles" because just as many little girls are abused as little boys. I would think being homosexual would be a whole lot scarier in this world than simply knowing one.

Because you don't see gangs of LGBT roaming the streets beating up on straight people.
Phyllis and we also know that the typical pedaphile is not a homosexual. Thanks!
He'll have bigger fish to fry soon enough one could wonder, or we make some deals now, one of which is obvious.
Are you watching this NC amendment vote? MSNBC has two children discussing this topic, one for and one against. The straight girl looks so... "I'm so much better than this person sitting next to me." She's actually rolling her eyes at the thought that the proposed amendment is about anything but gay marriage. Rachel. The other girl is Jen. Apparently this amendment will hurt everyone who is living together without a marriage license, not just gays.

Sorry for getting off topic, but I couldn't stand that expression on Rachel's face.
Phyllis I deeply appreciate this from you.
jon got an EP
well done my friend
Linda TY I've no idea why. This is my first in well ver 18 months, I think.
Why does it feel like the world is going backward? ... Congrats on the EP!
Deborah as to Russia it's a mentality very tough to overcome.
Iran is coming down the pike now, and that will draw his main attention. Curiously, the Frenchman who did a replication of Democracy in America in Russia was a homosexual, DeCustine and his hosts passionately hated one another, and although his work is a classic, it has to be taken with a grain of salt. Maybe that's Ivan's little mind game too, like with the British he seems to like to bait on that topic, although, it is the Russians who like to dance the ballet so well, so who are they kidding?
Putin is an additional obstacle facing equality.
B, He sure is. I have no idea why that man gets even the legitimate votes he gets.
In your own words, Jon, "Bless you for this!" Glad it got an EP.
FusunA Thanks, friend.
Well deserved EP. While LGBT people are still not fully recognized as full-fledged humans with rights in the US, my LGBT family members and friends are better off here than in many other countries...not all, but many.
Two steps forward, two steps back. Duke
Does this mean Romney can stop seeing "The Soviet Union" as our chief enemy now?
RW I've no basis on which to say that and I haven't.
Cred he's a lost cause. :)
Duke what r the 2 forward?
Well, I wish it were different. When all these cultures start to think they can get away with this then we are very in trouble here, because that just encourages everyone else here to unleash their hate, it is like a cancer. I am just so sick of people finding things to hate about others. Why? Why do they think this is what we need, is it some kind of diversion for greater evil and neglect?
Russians have never been known for their tolerance of much of anything or anyone. Maybe it's the winters or could it be the vodka?
Jon, I was not aware of this and thank you for the very informative post. Would be great to see the situation turned around ASAP, but I won't hold my breath on that. Congratulations on the EP and cover placement!
Sheila t o me, it's the ugliest version of religious-bsed fear.
des amazes me how gutsy some activists are.
Jonathan W.
Russians don't adore Putin. Not by a long stretch. He was re-elected with the help of massive fraud, careful elimination of the real opposition (the communists and Lib-Dems have been acting as opposition while not actually challenging the leadership for decades) and the lesser of evils theory.

Among the voters for Putin are people who think the current set of crooks and thieves already have their villas in the south of France and voting them out and voting in a new set would set off a new wave of theft of state assets as the new leaders got theirs.
Busy yesterday.

My best guess as to why the homophobia in a place like Russia is that gays might statistically tilt liberal.
Mazel tov on the EP. Glad you're on the radar again.

In places where gays have traditionally been in the closet, the average person hasn't met one. Rather than meeting the normal guy next door, who happens to share his bed with another guy, most contact tends to be limited to antics at flaming nightclubs complete with nude models in fish-tank swimming pools and clubbers openly performing acts that are generally done behind closed doors. most people think should be done behind closed doors. The impression is of flagrant debauchery.

Such clubs exist in America, too, but they are balanced by the guy next door who mows his lawn, walks his dog, and goes to work every day, just as everyone else does.

You will note that many societies have taken a while to accept the different. George Will had a column about his son with Down Syndrome. Will was asked at the hospital, after his wife gave birth if they were taking the baby home or if the hospital needed to place the baby in an institution --- a hint that the norm was not clearly to accept a different child.

Russia is making progress. Down Syndrome babies are increasingly accepted as family members, not rejected to the dubious care of underfunded institutions.

The other thing about gays is they are about 1-2% of any population and even less visible where being out of the closet is not all that nice or safe. So, claiming that a hefty portion of societies ills are due to them and passing laws that affect so few people is a hell of a lot easier than actually tackling the difficult issues that cause AIDS infection rates to rise, like access to health care, prostitution, and the millions of tons of Afghan heroin pouring across the largely unguarded border with Tajikistan.

From the 60s, when gays in America first started asserting their presence to the present day, when, let's not forget, plenty of states have recently voted in "defense of marriage" laws, America has made a lot of progress in gay rights. Russia is starting much later and from a starting position with much less acceptance of individualism. Progress is a pendulum, as N.C. showed us recently. I think Russia is making progress.