Orthodox Russians to Patrol Known Moscow Gay Cruising Area

PlevnaA spokeswoman for the Georgiyevtsy! youth movement, one of 15 Orthodox patriotic organizations in Moscow, says that patrols will begin at Moscow’s Ilyinsky Park from 7 to 10pm. The area is reportedly a gay meeting place and the groups want to put that to an end:

Said Diana Romanovskaya: “People can be seen there very frequently who boldly demonstrate their non-traditional orientation, persuading everyone that it is normal. We believe that it is a vice and want to remove all this from this site which is sacred for the Russians. We are not going to persuade them by force. But we hope that the very presence of our patrol will prompt homosexuals to look for other meeting venues.”

The groups met yesterday at the the Plevna Monument to pray and initiate the patrols.

And then of course, there’s Ekaterinburg, Russia, where last September folks offered a dissenting opinion.

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  1. jj says

    Old Soviet joke about the notorious cruising ground in the park in front of the Bolshoi–

    A man enters the park and is immediately hit on by numerous gay men. He gets upset and begins to look for a police officer. He finally finds one and goes up to complain.

    Man–“Hey, I am getting hit on by faggots in here!”

    Officer–“So what are you doing in our park?”

  2. Jonathon says

    The greatest failure of the Soviet Union was its inability to completely crush and destroy forever the Russian Orthodox Church (not to mention Islam and other religions that were practiced prior to the October Revolution.) Clearly, the Russian Orthodox church today is more aligned with the reactionary, nationalistic segment of Russia’s population and is ever seeking to increase its influence over the daily lives of all Russians. (The Catholic Church in Poland is running on a similar track.) It is sad that any remnant of the Orthodox church was allowed to survive the Soviet period. The penalty for this is what we see in this article.

    And for any Russian who thinks that the church will stop with harassing gays, well study your own history. The church will stop at nothing until it is returned to its historical role as the true power broker in Russian society, wielding unimaginable influence over Russia’s leaders. Today it is the gays, tomorrow it will be you.

  3. KevinVT says

    Jonathon, since when is a reactionary nationalist movement NOT turning to the traditional religion of the country it’s in for excuses for xenophobia and homophobia? The fundamentalist movements thrive on persecution, so it’s not particularly useful to suggest that the Soviets “failure” to crush the Orthodox Church is at fault. The church has turned much more homophobic than it was in the past.

    In fact, because of the fact that the vast majority of people who profess Orthodoxy actually knew nothing of it 15 years ago, they are more easily politicized by the haters. Look at what happened in Yugoslavia supposedly on religious grounds. There too people were not religious before and their ignorance made them prime targets for political manipulation.

    The Russian gay site gay.ru has a report from a visit today to the square in which a man engaged the “Georgievtsy” in dialogue. So far it looks like nothing much is happening, and Russian gays are trying to figure out how to react or not react.

    While people did gather at the square at all hours, it’s a bit amusing that they plan on stopping their patrols at 10 p.m., particularly as we’re heading for white nights! The sun doesn’t set until 10.14.

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