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Apologies to Dan Savage. Today, the lead article in the Europe section of the New York Times is titled "Gays in Russia Find No Haven, Despite Support From the West."  It does a good job in adding dimension to the fragmentary reports we've been offering you, because I'm not sure we understood exactly HOW Draconian the treatment was. The laws? Here's David Herzszenhorn's opening:

If this article were published in a newspaper based in Russia, it could be labeled 18+ — like an X-rated movie — and start with the following disclaimer: “This article contains information not suitable for readers younger than 18 years of age, according to Russian legislation.”
Protecting the children. Just like Anita Bryant in Miami in 1977.

It's almost as if we're time-traveling back to an earlier decade.

Few gay people in Russia openly acknowledge their sexual orientation, and those who do are often harassed. When some gay people protested the propaganda law by kissing outside the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, police officers stood by and watched as the demonstrators were doused with water and beaten by antigay and religious supporters of the bill.
Reminds me of the Freedom Riders in Mississippi in 1961, when the FBI gave the bigots 15 minutes to beat the civil rights demonstrators before the police moved in.

 All of you saying, "Well, that's Russia" are apparently correct. Being fired for coming out in public:

“What is going on now in Russia contradicts its place in the world,” said Anton Krasovsky, a television anchor who was immediately fired from his job at the government-controlled KontrTV network in January after he announced during a live broadcast that he is gay, saying he was fed up with lying about his life and offended by the legislation.
This is Mr. Krasovsky, to put a different face on this issue.
Here's Le Monde in APRIL
"Russia is a philosophical black hole, nothing is important – and neither is my action," he says. But then why come out so publicly? Because, he says, of the worrying turn the country is taking since the return of Putin to the Kremlin in May 2012. The multiplication of repressive laws and the development of a populist state, based on the promotion of patriotism, the Orthodox Church and anti-Americanism ended up dissolving the layer of cynicism that was protecting the journalist. This has a name: it is conscience.
And, yes, depressingly, this apparently has the support of the Russian people:
An overwhelming 88 percent of Russians support the gay propaganda ban, according to a survey conducted in June by the All-Russian Public Opinion Center. A survey conducted in April by the Levada Center found that 35 percent of Russians believed that homosexuality was a disease and 43 percent believed that it was a bad habit, a result of poor parenting or a lack of discipline, or a symptom of abuse.
And then there's the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill I, channeling Pat Robertson when he calls marriage equality
“a very dangerous sign of the apocalypse.”
Citing Nazi Germany? Don't blame me. Jay Leno did that in his interview of the President last week. It's his meme. And Russia thinks the criticism is unfair, since it repealed the Soviet-era anti-gay laws which made homosexuality a crime in 2003. So maybe this is just Baton Rouge, where the sheriff has been arresting gay people under laws that were invalidated by Lawrence v Texas (also 2003). And it gets worse (and this isn't breaking news, either, it's just worth repeating)
Rights advocates said that Russia was growing more dangerous for gay people. This year, there have been at least two killings motivated by antigay bias in the country, including the savage beating death in May of a young man in Volgograd who was also sodomized with beer bottles.
I know we could find events very close to this if we looked at the reaction to the civil rights movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s. But what's happening here? Protecting the children, except, of course, the children who are being murdered because they're gay.

I know, I know. Broken record. Pressure the Orthodox Church, but will the Russian church pay any more attention to pressure than the Russian government has? Will the Russian Church in the United States be able to put pressure on the church in Russia? And it's not just the Sochi Olympics either: Russia is supposed to host the World Cup in 2018. Great. Hooligan fans from Britain and Germany can help the Russians beat up gay people. It's just that in my view the intransigence of the Russian government is beginning to look like the intransigence of the South African government over apartheid and don't tell me these are not both human rights issues.

Aleksandr Smirnov, 39, a freelance journalist, said he was forced to quit his job in the press office of a deputy mayor in Moscow after he was featured with more than two dozen other gay Muscovites in a special issue of Afisha magazine in February. Being gay in Russia means “you are under permanent stress,” he said.
That's no way to have to live. I wish I didn't have to keep up the drumbeat on this. But, as I explained yesterday, I have to. This is a "diary me" ISSUE for me now. Think of this as consciousness raising.

8:48 AM PT: Alas, my summer vacation is coming to an end, as my classes begin two weeks from today and I have TWO new preps. I have to go to the places I teach  to collect my desk copies today, and I'll be gone for at least four hours, if not as long as six hours, doing that. I see the comments are working fine without me, and I'll address anything I think I need to address when I get back.

Play nicely, my friends.

8:48 AM PT: Alas, my summer vacation is coming to an end, as my classes begin two weeks from today and I have TWO new preps. I have to go to the places I teach  to collect my desk copies today, and I'll be gone for at least four hours, if not as long as six hours, doing that. I see the comments are working fine without me, and I'll address anything I think I need to address when I get back.

Play nicely, my friends.

Originally posted to Angry Gays on Mon Aug 12, 2013 at 06:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women, LGBT Kos Community, and LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

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