Russian LGBT Activism Update

Jim Burroway

August 16th, 2008

When Russia sent its tanks rumbling into Georgia this week, it signaled a new determination on the part of Russian political leaders to walk boldly onto the world stage. It’s good to know that Russian LGBT activists have been no less bold lately. Last Thursday, several leading activists protested the war in Moscow (in an act which appears to be controversial, if those Google-translated comments are any indication).

Boldness is a necessary quality among Russian LGBT advocates, as we’ve seen several instances of violence and official crackdowns on Pride observances over the past few years. The public discourse on homosexuality is very ugly in Russia, where it is often wrapped up in xenophobia and accompanied by accusations of demonic possession and child molestation. In fact, many Russian anti-gay extremists are about as likely to refer to gays as pederasts as they are to call them homosexuals. And unfortunately, many Russian psychologists and academics are barely more enlightened on the subject than are their skinhead counterparts — something we noticed two months ago.

The repeated allegations of a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia concerned  Ruslan Porshnev of the Russian LGBT web site Anti-Dogma. Last month he wrote that local publicity surrounding the rise in abductions, rapes and murders of children in his country has heightened the general hysteria, and that gays were increasingly becoming the targets of official investigations regardless of the evidence.

In response, Anti-Dogma has published a Russian translation by Victoria Narizhna of my examination of the supposed link between homosexuality and child molestation. This is the report where I examined the official statistics and scientific evidence from numerous sources on child sexual abuse and the nature of the abusers. What emerges is that those who self-identify as gay or lesbian are no more likely to molest children of either sex than those who are straight.

The Russian version of the report, Testing the Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children? is now available for download in PDF format, both here and at the Anti-Dogma web site.

Meanwhile the work of LGBT advocacy continues, as activists gather next week in St. Petersburg for a “Summer School” in preparation for an upcoming All-Russian conference on the development of LGBT advocacy nationwide. We wish them the best of luck in their endeavors.


August 16th, 2008

The Russian Orthodox Church deserves a HUGE share of the blame. Like all franchises of the Orthodox sect, the ROC is downright rabid in their condemnation of homosexuality and relentless in their demands that the government quash any expression of “gay pride.”

They are an order of magnitude worse than the Vatican.


August 16th, 2008

Speaking of the alleged intrinsic connection between homosexuality and paedophilia, it’s interesting to note that that’s one of Gagnon’s old chestnuts as well.

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