Hot on the heels of the same sex marriage bill being passed in the UK, Russia’s lower house has passed some sex legislation of it’s own. They’ve unanimously banned the promotion of homosexual propaganda, a bit clause 28 that – except in Russia it seems that “homosexual propaganda” may cover such outrageous behavior as holding hands. This law extends to foreign visitor as well and indeed four dutch citizens have already been arrested oh and 70 Russians as well which isn’t bad going for a law just 9 days old. The four where LGBT activists and attending a human rights seminar and making a documentary but don’t seem to have been promoting anything at least not as we’d understand it. There were worries that this might affect the winter Olympics, though as Baku’s rules didn’t effect the EuroVision song contest there’s probably not much to worry about there. Anyway just to be on the safe side the IoC have reportedly negotiated a deal that exempts Olympics athletes, press and guests so that’s all all right then. In the meantime the photgraphs coming out of Russia seem to suggest that this clamp down on Homosexuals will be enforced in a stereotypically soviet fashion. Meanwhile the entrapment and abuse of homosexuals appears to not be causing the Russian authorities much distress.
Thankfully the recent laws have attracted international condemnation even from the European parliament of all places. The UN so far is keeping quiet, guess that UN charter of Human rights isn’t really that big a deal after all, though oddly just a few weeks earlier the UN did manage to condemn Nigeria’s Parliament for passing anti-gay law. Can’t possibly imagine why they’d condemn one UN member one week and then be silent about another for doing much the same thing a few weeks later, nope – complete mystery that. To be fair the UN did condemn the idea of such laws last year when Russia was just thinking about them. Now amongst all this international political condemnation you’d have thought that a government that had just struck a principled blow for equal rights by passing a same sex marriage bill might speak out? I mean ti was a principled stand and not just a popularity vote grabbing type of move, and the head of that government did speak out about Nigeria. So with such high principles at stake, the leader of a country who’ll arrest someone for calling a horse gay would surely be leading the international pressure on Russia for passing such a law?
Ah apparently not. Well they are on holiday, so he probably doesn’t even know it’s happened. That’ll be it as soon as he gets back he’ll be making a principled statement on the matter demonstrating his firm commitment to human rights, the other party leaders and the rest of Parliament will also no doubt be on it the moment they get back from holiday as well. The rest of our mainstream media will no doubt also shortly join the Gaurdian in actually mentioning it as well.
Meanwhile apart from the usual writing to people, there’s a somewhat misguided boycott of Russian vodka and also a demo outside the Russian Embassy on August 10th at 13:00. Which given it’s Russia probably won’t worry them much but it might help our politicians and press to find their tongues.