The Struggle For Gay Rights In Russia


Julia Ioffe reports on Russia’s “homosexual propaganda” ban, which is on its way to becoming law:

The perception of homosexuality in Russia is that it’s both a perversion of nature and a fashion import from the corrupt West: something into which a man can slip if he’s had a bit too much vodka—by all accounts a common occurrence in Russia—and as a posture one adopts to be cool. Thus, the “propaganda” ban. Homosexuality is seen as an aggressive ad campaign that, traditionalists fear, will persuade impressionable young minds that being gay not only isn’t abnormal and abhorrent, but stylish and hip. The idea that homosexuality is a natural and innate phenomenon, needless to say, has not gained traction here outside of small circles among the educated. Even there, it’s rare.

(Photo: A Russian gay rights activist stands in front of the Russian State Duma building on January 22, 2013 after being punched during a protest in Moscow. By Andrey Smirnov/AFP/Getty Images)