In July Vladimir Putin signed into law an ‘anti-gay propaganda law.’ It forbids the dissemination of any information about the LGBT lifestyle. By parliament’s passing of the law, and Putin’s signing, they have become the largest homophobic country in the world. And it now appears that Russian neo-Nazis are targeting the LGBT community.
“Occupy Pedophilyaj” and “Occupy Gerontilyaj,” are reportedly luring young gay men through Russia’s Facebook equivalent, VK.com. When they respond the men are bullied, and often tortured, while being filmed. The organizations were founded by skinhead Maxim Martsinkevich to identify and report pedophiles. In the VK.com ads, young gay men are invited to a ‘date,’ where the physical abuse occurs.
Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, (SHRA), is an activist group for the LGBT community is Russia.
“These self-proclaimed ‘crime fighters’ perform their actions under the broad day light, often outside and clearly visible to general public that indifferently passes by or even commend them,” writes SHRA on its website. “Video recordings of bullying and tortures are freely distributed on the Internet in order to out LGBT teens to their respective schools, parents and friends. Many victims were driven to suicides, the rest are deeply traumatized.”
When the Russian newspaper, Lenta, met with some of the members of ‘Occupy Pedophilyaj,’ they asked them the simple question, ‘why.’
“We do not like homosexuals,” the leader of one local gathering explained, according to a HuffPost translation. “If it was up to me, I’d kill them but the government doesn’t allow that.”
“I think practically all gay men — pedophiles,” he later explained. “Once you’ve crossed over once, you can cross over again. Today he likes boys, and then it’ll be children. They’re not suitable for life in society.”
Ignorance is the mother of bigotry and prejudice. Now that Putin has signed a law forbidding virtually all information about the lifestyle, and any publication offering an understanding of the LGBT community, bigotry and prejudice will be allowed to flourish.
Russia is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in the resort city of Sochi. Quietly, there is a worldwide movement within the LGBT community that may affect the financial success of the Games.
The entire gay community is being asked to boycott the Olympics. In addition, gay bars around the world are refusing to buy or sell Stolichnaya Vodka, although its CEO, Val Mendeleev, claims his company supports the LGBT community.
There is also concern that openly gay athletes, or even those suspected of being gay, may be in some danger in Sochi.
The law’s specific wording; this prohibits “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors,” covers virtually every common area of the country. And representatives of the government say they will enforce it.
“If a law has been passed by parliament and signed by the president, the government has no right or powers to reverse it,” St. Petersburg politician Vitaly Milonov told the Russian Interfax news agency. He repeated the comments when he spoke with CNN on Wednesday.
As a dying breed of bigots continues to attempt the passing on of outdated and immoral beliefs, the world is changing. The Russian people can choose to live in the past or embrace the future. The past is often filled with dark passageways, leading to anger, hatred, and even murderous action. The future offers light. And, with light, comes acceptance, awareness, and even joy in the celebration of the life of others.
The proof lies in the unfortunate title of this article; ‘Russian Neo-Nazis Targeting the LGBT Community.’ These neo-Natzis are hateful, insecure, and unhappy with their own lives. Causing physical harm to others is a form of releasing the dark feelings that control their emotions and dispel logical and intelligent thought.
Alfred James reporting