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Clearly a threat to the kiddies

Timothy Kincaid

January 20th, 2014


Vladimir Putin has repeatedly insisted that the homophobic law in Russia which illegalizes any public support for gay people is merely a crackdown on pedophilia. On Friday he again insisted that this was the case. (NYDailyNews)

“We have no ban on nontraditional sexual relations. We have a ban on propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia. I want to underline that, on propaganda among minors,” he said.

“We aren’t rounding up anyone, we have no criminal punishment for such relations unlike many other countries,” he said. “One can feel relaxed and at ease, but please leave the children in peace.”

These claims seem difficult to reconcile with the reality that the crackdown is broad and that “propaganda” is, in implementation, inclusive of just about anything.

A gay Russian protester was detained on Saturday for unfurling a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay as it passed through his hometown of Voronezh, 560 miles north of Sochi, where the games will begin Feb. 7.

Photos uploaded by his friends show Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and then being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the snow as they wait for police to arrive.

Lebedev, reached by The Associated Press on the phone, said he was still in the police station and undergoing questioning.

Comments

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Lucrece
January 20th, 2014 | LINK

He does make a salient point about our Saudi allies, who have much worse penalty, most of the African nations white liberals are too PC to criticize, and inparticular the lack of negative press about Qatar’s upcoming World Cup.

India just recently revided the criminalization of homosexuality, and nobody has been making the npise they have as they have with Russia.

Perhaps those whom we think as “allies” for Sochi protest just seized on our plight to slug an old enemy more than they actually care about LGBT rights abroad.

David in the O.C.
January 20th, 2014 | LINK

I’m still trying to figure out how a rainbow flag is a threat to children. Do children see the rainbow colors and suddenly turn gay? Such idiocy.

grantdale
January 20th, 2014 | LINK

@Lucrece

I don’t think Putin is making much of a point. He’s attempting to deflect attention from what is a new law and one plainly indicative of a turn for the worse in recent years. Russia is one of very few places where life has clearly now got very much worse for gay people, in what has the potential to turn into a pogrom. For that reason alone it deserves scrutiny and outrage, as do parallel reversals in Uganda and Nigeria.

Contrasting this, the Saudi laws are not new. The country has never been described as remotely democratic; or even aspiring to democracy. The death penalty applies to an astounding range of activities, including heterosexual adultery and apostasy. Any public displays of sexuality are harshly dealt with – a man wouldn’t dream of touching his own wife on the street. The entire place is a prison.

(I’ll add that I’m completely against the death penalty, anywhere, for anything).

There has also been outrage about the recent reversal by the Supreme Court of India. The law itself is again not new and, important difference, Indians themselves are able to be at the forefront of this protest. It is not against the law to publically agitate for reform, something that the Russian laws now prohibit occurring in Russia.

Despite hanging over people’s heads, problematic in itself, I’m not even sure when the law was last imposed on someone in India – I seem to recall it may have been as long as 20 years ago. This contrasts with reports coming out of Russia caused by a new law, and horrific reports from Nigeria again following a very recent new law. India has not turned for the worse, and there are genuine reasons to hope things will change and in the not too distant future; not least because there is an active campaign in India by Indians to see things change.

I don’t want any of this to make light of the terrible situation faced in all too many nations around the globe, but those awful facts should not distract or paralyse us when it comes to being critical of what Russian lawmakers have recently unleashed, both legally and socially.

Priya Lynn
January 21st, 2014 | LINK

I’ve seen lots of white liberals criticize the barbaric laws against gays in Africa and I have condemned them many times myself. I see lots of coverage of the anti-gay laws elsewhere, I don’t see any unbalance in criticism of the Russian law against gays.

Lion in Winter
January 21st, 2014 | LINK

How come the security goons are dressed like Dalmatians?

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