As Russia remains hostile to its LGBT citizens, a scary new law is making its way through Russia's legislature. Both citizens and visitors would be fingerprinted, and anyone refusing could be deported and banned from visiting for fifteen years. And, that is not the worst or most frightening thing about the law. A national database would be created for anyone with HIV. Supposedly, the law is to make it easier to fight crime.
This is reported in hivplusmag and The Advocate.
From the article:
State Duma deputy Roman Khudyakov of the Liberal Democratic party told reporters that the database would include people with "dangerous contagious diseases" and the rule would apply to both Russian citizens and foreigners visitors. According to RT, "several federal ministries and agencies, including the Federal Migration Service, Interior Ministry, Emergencies Ministry and Prosecutor General’s Office have already approved the draft."How such a law could somehow help to fight crime is puzzling to me. It seems discriminatory toward folks with such health issues, and not helpful at all.
Khudyakov told reporters that the new law is needed because some HIV-positive people "change their names and disappear from the state system… [but] fingerprinting would make it impossible." He insisted that the universal fingerprinting would some how make it easier to fight crime.
While the bill has drawn some opposition, it appears as though it's likely it is to pass, in a country where there's been an alarming stigmatization of — and a wave of government sanctioned violence against — of gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women. This kind of move will likely further persecute those groups and all people with HIV regardless of gender or orientation.While we continue to make progress for LGBT folks and persons with HIV in the USA, other countries (such as Russia and Uganda) are retrograding quickly.