Putin’s Dreams of Empire Are Pretty Gay

Randy Potts

November 12th, 2013

With all the recent noise coming out of Russia these days on gay rights (or the lack thereof) it’s easy to lose sight of why Putin has gone along with the anti-gay legislation when it has only caused problems for him in the West.  If Sochi is all about projecting a vision of Russia as a nation worthy of investment and a leader in world affairs, why risk letting the “gay problem” overwhelm the message?

This Buzzfeed piece by J. Lester Feder is a good introduction, although the title is misleading.  What Feder documents is how existing anti-gay sentiment is being used by pro-Russian forces within former Soviet bloc countries to tie those countries closer to Russia and, more importantly, steer them away from the EU and into Putin’s “Customs Union” instead — not a very prosaic name, that — sounds a bit like the Trade Federation in Star Wars.  A more straightforward name like “Russian Union” might remind everyone of that Soviet one they had 20 years ago.

What many Western gay rights activists too often miss is that anti-gay sentiment is not being created or fomented by Putin or the anti-western, pro-Russian crowd.  Anti-gay sentiment already exists, at about the same levels it existed here in the US 50 or 60 years ago.  The comparisons to Hitler and the Nazis are also inept — unlike Hitler whose party platform identified Jews as the problem from the get go, anti-gay legislation in Russia has been grass roots and Putin merely stood by while it spread from oblast to oblast in the early 2000s. It was only this past June that a federal law was finally passed, only 9 months after the New York Times was reporting massive anti-Putin marches in Moscow – that is to say, these anti-Putin protests created a little spark in Putin’s eye and, 9 months later, a federal anti-gay law was born.

Fast forward to the present — Putin’s imperial designs on his neighbors suddenly tie in very, very well with federal anti-gay legislation.  To its neighbors, Russia is suddenly a bastion of morality and also the seat of the glorious Winter Olympics, a brave, proud country that can save Ukrainians and other slavic nations from the pedophile values of the West.  Or, as the group Ukrainian Choice, a local grass roots anti-Western group, put it — “Association with EU means same-sex marriage” (via the same Buzzfeed article linked above.)

Putin wants to draw his neighbors into as close a replica as possible of the former Soviet Union or, if he had his choice, one country called Russia that stretches from Riga in the north to Odessa in the south.  The fear in slavic countries of the imposition of “Western” values, specifically gay marriage, is already very strong, so suddenly what seems like problematic social legislation to the West seems like the cause of the moral and the just to many in these former Soviet blocs.

Sochi is going to be a balancing act for Putin but one that ultimately plays into his imperial wet dreams — his neighbors will be watching as every bit of Western noise against the new anti-gay law is answered with a smile and a pledge that Russia does not violate human rights.  Many of Russia’s neighbors will agree — to too many, “gay” is not an inherent human condition but rather the actions of sick perverted individuals hoping to prey on their children.  Father Putin is not about to let that happen.

Gene in L.A.

November 12th, 2013

I’m sorry, I fail to see in this how Putin’s plan is “pretty gay.” Perhaps you could explain that a bit more directly? The headline sounds suspiciously like the youthful attitude so many of us are trying to discourage, that “gay” is another synonym for “lame.”


November 12th, 2013

Refreshing to see information which speaks to the wide screen picture in Russia & neighboring former Soviet countries. There is, of course, more to this ‘alignment’ as it moves forward. Another Core piece is the Eastern Orthodox Church (groups).

As we all well know, Church & State are quite well versed in gaining support using the ‘Homosexuals’ as the common destroyer of all that is good. Clearly, we still have both hard at it here in the USA (and, happily working with their friends in Russia etc).


November 12th, 2013

Good points, Randy. I didn’t think about the anti-gay stuff being part of a larger plan until you pointed this out.

Timothy Kincaid

November 12th, 2013


I think Randy means that the dreams of influence rely largely on how his anti-gay neighbors perceive him contraposing himself against the west and using anti-gay positioning to do so.

In other words, he’ll be focusing on ‘gay’ in order to achieve something totally unrelated to sexual orientation.

Randy Potts

November 12th, 2013

Gene, I can see how you took it that way and it wasn’t as clear as it could have been, but no, I wasn’t meaning “lame” but instead was insinuating that Putin’s plan involves gay people or at least intimidation of gay people. It’s not a lame plan at all; in fact, it’s pretty clever. In that sense, “gay” would be a compliment . . .


November 12th, 2013

I find contemporary Russia both fascinating and confusing. But what is crystal clear to me is what’s happening there really has nothing at all to do with gays and everything to do with the need for a scapegoat and bogeyman. “Gay” is a huge threat to the moral legitimacy of contemporary religion; Once society no longer supports the religious delusion that “God hates fags” the whole religious moral house of cards collapses. And as Russia’s economy stagnates and deteriorates because of weakening oil demand, Putin is increasingly desperate for a lightening rod at which to direct popular discontent and anger. Gays are once again the “perfect scapegoat” but sooner or later Church and State will get the memo that gays will no longer play the victim.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

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.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

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.

Paul Cameron’s World

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.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

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"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

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.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

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.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

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.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

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.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe 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.