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A man takes away a rainbow flag as a policeman detains gay rights activists during a May 31 protest in Moscow. A new report claims that Russia’s law banning homosexual “propaganda” has led to increased persecution of gays in the country.
The Russian law that prohibits “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” to minors has had wide-ranging and devastating effects on the LGBT community, according to a report released by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Friday.
To mark the law’s one-year-anniversary Monday, the LGBT rights group has collected numerous incidents showing the law’s consequences, including attacks on LGBT night clubs, discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace and an intensification of anti-LGBT rhetoric among Russian leaders.
While only a limited number of Russians have been reported in the English press as having been found guilty of breaking the law, it has spurred numerous investigations resulting in teachers being fired, products being taken off the shelves , and even a crusade against a ninth-grade student who was turned into authorities after she told classmates she was a lesbian.
Overall, the report states, these investigations have produced a “chilling” effect on Russia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its advocates.
“The law is written incredibly vaguely. No one knows what it means to promote propaganda, so people feel like anything they do can be swept into that definition – or that lack of a definition in that broad term,” says Ty Cobb, director of global engagement for the Human Rights Campaign.
The survey found that in addition to the propaganda ban’s legal ramifications, the law has created a climate where crimes against LGBT people have increased while officials turn a blind eye. Cobb blames these crimes on the messages being put out by government officials and church leaders, also detailed in the report.
“When the rhetoric continues to create a tense situation where it looks like it’s OK to discriminate, it’s OK to harass, it’s OK to violently attack LGBT people, it isn’t surprising that groups collect themselves on social media and organize to actually go after LGBT people in a methodical way,” Cobb says.
The law has been regarded as a move by Vladimir Putin’s administration to align his government with the conservative Russian Orthodox Church while using anti-LGBT sentiment as a weapon against the West. White House national security adviser Susan Rice criticized Russia this week for a law she described as “pernicious.”
“With Russia trying to strengthen its sphere of influence, we’re seeing this rhetoric and lies about LGBT people becoming a wedge with former Soviet countries who are making the decision of whether they’re aligning themselves with Western Europe or with Russia,” Cobb says.
Legislation similar to Russia’s propaganda ban is under consideration in Kyrgyzstan , a former Soviet territory, and there has been talk of other anti-LGBT measures in Lithuania , Kazakhstan and elsewhere in the region.
Russian officials also have suggested other proposals aimed at the LGBT community, including the creation of a national morality police, a ban on gay clubs and a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Meanwhile, Putin told reporters this week that accusations Russia is anti-gay are “fictional.”
The temperature is rising, the excitement is building and the countdown is on.
Yes the city’s proudest day is almost upon us, Brighton Pride 2014 is almost here.
With a line-up that includes so many spectacular wonders including Sam Bailey, Blue, Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and Martha Wash, the all new Q Alt Music Live Stage with Republica, Massive Ego, Q-Boy and Lucy Spraggon plus Brighton Pride favourites Calabash, The Legends Cabaret Tent, The Women’s Dance Tent, Men’s Zone, Community Village, Literature Live Tent and the super-sized Wild Fruit Dance Tent, Brighton Pride 2014 is set to deliver the UK’s most colourful and flamboyant Pride celebration yet.
With more acts to be confirmed and the fastest selling ticket sales Brighton Pride has ever seen, 2014 is certain surpass all fundraising records and deliver a glorious day of Pride for everyone.
Tickets for the Pride festival have been on sale since February and all early Birds and discounted advance have now sold out !
Make sure you are part of this best of Brighton days and grab the last of the Pride Festival £17.50 advance tickets today.
£17.50 Advance second release available until the end of June /£20 in July/ More on the day.
Pride Brighton & Hove 2014: Freedom To Live
Pride Festival Preston Park 12noon – 10pm.
By Bayardo Barrios and Michael W. Sasser at Wire Magazine
Although the LGBT community worldwide recognizes New York City’s 1969 Stonewall riots as the beginning of the struggle for LGBT rights, that doesn’t mean that Pride celebrations are limited to North America.
All across the world, LGBT communities recognize the importance of the days when gays and lesbians in New York stood up and told the establishment that they would no longer be treated as second-class citizens, as criminals or as threats to society.
The recollection of Stonewall resounds all over the globe, as demonstrated by the timing of Pride celebrations around the world and the many that specifically name the Stonewall uprising as their impetus.
Gay Pride events abound in the world today, from nations where being gay is a crime to the most progressive cities on Earth. (more…)