February 24th, 2008
Fifteen years ago, Russia repealed its laws making male homosexuality a criminal offense. But those heady times were beginning to seem seem like a more distant memory when police and mobs violently attacked gay pride marchers in Moscow last year. Then in August, the Washington Post reported on deep divisions among Russia’s LGBT advocates, between those who pressed for more confrontational tactics against the rising tide of homophobia and others who felt that a more indirect approach was needed in order to avoid a harsh backlash.
Many of those advocates came together in January to launch a nationwide campaign to monitor discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The newly-formed Russian LGBT Alliance has also declared the week of March 15-31 as Russian Week against Homophobia (RWAHO). According to their press release:
Russian Week against Homophobia is a special attempt to attract public attention in a certain time-frame to the problem of homophobia and to its danger to the society as a whole. It’s a chance of responding to homophobic rhetoric by creating an area free from discrimination and hatred towards people.
…This year Russian Week against Homophobia will be held in major cities like Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Voronezh, Krasnodar, Omsk, Petrozavodsk, Rostov-na-Donu, Samara, Tumen, Cheylabinsk, etc.
During March 25-31 there will be seminars, panel discussions, meetings, film showings with debates, as well as other events targeted at homophobia elimination in Russian society. Also, signature drive for the “Manifest against Homophobia” started last year will be continued.
They really have their work cut out for them. This morning’s New York Times reported on Russia’s transformation into a de facto one-party state under President Vladimir Putin. Reports of violence, threats, intimidation and coercion against opposition parties have have guaranteed Putin’s remaining in power under a figurehead president. Homophobia also played a role in the propaganda campaign against opposition parties:
Meanwhile, a different kind of propaganda war was being waged on the streets. Russia has relatively conservative attitudes toward homosexuality, and all autumn long Nizhny Novgorod was blanketed with tens of thousands of leaflets saying that Mr. Nemtsov’s liberal, pro-Western opposition party, the Union of Right Forces, ardently favored gay rights and employed canvassers with AIDS. Neither was true.
The leaflets often included the name and phone number of a leader of the party’s regional candidate slate, Andrei Osipenko. Some had condoms attached and announced offers to send supporters to a gay-pride event in Amsterdam.
The party was refused advertising space on everything from billboards to newspapers to television. When Mr. Nemtsov tried to campaign in Nizhny Novgorod in the fall, no one would rent him a hall. In November, the party headquarters were ransacked and spray-painted with profanities and graffiti that called it the “Party of Gays.”
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.