First Tourists Arrested Under Russian’s Anti-Gay Law; Russian Bishop Claims Same-Sex Marriage Is ‘Sign Of The Apocalypse’

Several pieces of disconcerting news out of Russia today. Officials in that country have arrested three Dutch tourists today under its new anti-gay "propaganda" ban.

6a00d8341c730253ef01901de626d6970b-200wiGayNZ reports:

The Dutch trio are the first tourists to be told they have 'violated the rules of stay'. They were arrested in Murmansk, and Gay Star News says unconfirmed reports suggest they were helping gay activists in the city protest Russia’s position on human rights. They have been told they have broken the law of ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ propaganda among children, which was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin last month.

A hearing is scheduled for Monday morning Russian time (late this afternoon in New Zealand). The Russian LGBT Network is providing legal assistance.

That wasn't the only bit of anti-gay news out of Russia today. Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church and a strong supporter of the "propaganda" bill, told parishioners this morning that same-sex marriage is leading to the end of the world.

KirillAccording to, he said: "'This is a very dangerous sign of the apocalypse … It means people are choosing a path of self-destruction,' Patriarch Kirill told churchgoers at Kazan Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square on Sunday."

Finally, in a just published NYT op-ed, Harvey Fierstein took on Vladimir Putin and his hateful policies, writing that the Russian president "has declared war on homosexuals. So far, the world has mostly been silent."

He concludes:

Mr. Putin’s campaign against lesbian, gay and bisexual people is one of distraction, a strategy of demonizing a minority for political gain taken straight from the Nazi playbook. Can we allow this war against human rights to go unanswered? Although Mr. Putin may think he can control his creation, history proves he cannot: his condemnations are permission to commit violence against gays and lesbians. Last week a young gay man was murdered in the city of Volgograd. He was beaten, his body violated with beer bottles, his clothing set on fire, his head crushed with a rock. This is most likely just the beginning.

Nevertheless, the rest of the world remains almost completely ignorant of Mr. Putin’s agenda. His adoption restrictions have received some attention, but it has been largely limited to people involved in international adoptions.

This must change. With Russia about to hold the Winter Games in Sochi, the country is open to pressure. American and world leaders must speak out against Mr. Putin’s attacks and the violence they foster. The Olympic Committee must demand the retraction of these laws under threat of boycott.

Very well put.

Read Fierstein's full op-ed here.


  1. James in Hollywood says

    Uh, yeah…the end of the world. Well good luck with your apocalypse, buddy. As for me, my guy and I will be shopping for a new sofa and maybe getting a bite at the Cuban place around the corner.

  2. Adam says

    The Russian Orthodox Church is a corrupt nest of individuals with links to Putin’s administration. Bribery and political favors are endemic. If Jesus were to return to Earth, it wouldn’t surprise me if he disowned the Orthodox Church.

  3. sugarrhill says

    Where are the racists on this post? Why no boycott posts? I wonder what makes this different from other posts about cultures of homophobia?

  4. Randy says

    Sugarrhill: “Why no boycott posts?”

    What does Russia make? The only thing I might actually have purchased is PPV Olympic events next year.

    Does vodka even come from there any more?

  5. emjayay says

    Boycotting these Olympics by not going is a protest that would not be noticed unless half the people did it, and that isn’t going to happen. And no one can expect athletes who have been training for years to do it either. I’m really, really hoping that gay athletes from around the world will get together and do something that goes all over international TV and other media. Anyone remember the 1968 Mexico City Olympics?

  6. emjayay says

    Yes some vodka does come from there, but boycotting it would be ineffective. Not exactly the same as boycotting lettuce in the 70’s.

  7. Jay says

    Are russians really this stupid? do they really believed that gayness can be indroctrinated? To Putin: girl, please.

  8. Profe Sancho Panza says

    Is anyone the least bit surprised that Putin is having this law enforced? Now that he has it on the books, he will start making public examples of people.

  9. Betty Treacle says

    Don’t buy Russian. Don’t go there on holiday.

    OH wait. Nobody does anyway.

  10. Kev C says

    Boycott RT news, Russia Today, voice of the Kremlin. Putin’s anti-american propaganda.

    St. Nicholas Orthodox Church is on East 97th St near Central Park. It needs to be gayed up.

  11. Richard says

    Boycott Russian Olympics. This issue is more important than how long the athletes trained.

  12. Bill Michael says

    The Russian Orthodox Church had a death grip on Russia before they were suppressed by the revolution. Looks like, “They’re baaack”.

  13. Bob says

    Most of the “Gay sports” are in the summer Olympics, but figure skating and ice dancing would lose half their TV appeal if no Gay men showed up.

  14. Rad says

    So essentially, anyone out, even visiting, will be arrested?

    Wow. Welcome to the Dark Ages.

  15. Kev C says

    And we need to make russian language illegal in the US. It’s the devil’s backwards langauge and it confuses american children. B is V and 3 is Z and P is R and backwards R is Ya! Arrest anyone who speaks russian.

  16. kode says

    Such sad news, but in Russia anything is possible. Lot of poverty (which means angry people that are manipulated easily) and apparently there aren’t any positive gay role models there, or so I assume because it seems this redigilous gay propaganda law seems to be pretty well accepted by the Russian people.

    I live in Finland, next to Russia, but I have really no idea of the culture there, except that there’s lot of corruption and lots of smoke and mirrors to hide what’s really happening. This gay propaganda law is probably about something else, some power play or whatever. It’s just so easy to target an easily-hateable minority and make them look guilty of many things to get the votes of the people.

    Actually the acceptance of gays reminds a bit of the situation here in Finland. There was a study few months ago about the acceptance of gays in the last century here in Finland, and it said that gays were really never portrayed in positive manner in the films or media. So if people didn’t have any real relationships with gays they just didn’t understand what it was all about. Unfortunately at the moment there still are lot of those negative feelings among gays here, but naturally our situation is from another planet when compared to Russia. Even if he lost we still had a gay man run for president in the last election and he got to the final round.

    But I can’t help but wonder how absolutely essential it is to have positive, and with that that I mean just normal people, gay characters in the films and tv shows to just show the masses that we are not that different from the straight people. Hopefully Russia gets there, but with Putin’s administration it’s hard to know if it will happen.

  17. Jeff says

    I think it is safe to say no governments are going to help us in this situation. Not USA not Canada, UK, China. No one is going to intervene on behalf of gay citizens so it is going to be up to us to band together and make noise so this does not escalate into something much larger. Do you want to be free or do you want to have our descendents learn of the Rudolf Brazda’s of the 21st century?

  18. Will says

    Never understand the hypocrisy of these far right religious nuts. They really don’t care about other people, but they like to tell you how you should live.

  19. gr8guya says

    What is frightening is that if one removed the word “gay” and substituted any other group – Jewish, Islamic, black, Hispanic, Asian – there would already be an international uproar.

    I hope that a brave, gay, American couple will go to Russia on vacation. Stay in the same room, walk down the street holding hands, and kiss publicly. Let’s see what happens. Will they get jailed or expelled? That would create the kind of flash point that would alert the world.

    It will also be interesting to see how Russia deals with openly gay Olympic athletes. I assume that there will be another Matt Mitcham.
    If a gay athlete is seen kissing his/her partner, would they be expelled?

    This must be clarified before the Games start. Russia will probably not enforce the rules during the Olympics. So, it is incumbent on gay athletes from all of the participating countries to make their voices heard.

    How about every gay athlete wearing a rainbow patch on their uniforms during the opening events?

  20. David From Canada says

    This is getting to be almost funny. Super-controversial Edward Snowden is allowed to run around on the loose in the Moscow Airport, while Dutch couples are arrested for merely supporting gay right. Russia and Putin should have their own Reality Comedy Show.

  21. Bryan L says

    Something truly evil is going on in Russia and it’s remarkably similar to what happened in Nazi Germany.

  22. Tom Chicago says

    Isn’t it a rather dim effort by the Russian fundies, led by Putin, to exclude some number (at least) of Olympic gay athletes– in addition to the members of the tourist public who will find this grotesque and avoid the Games as a result? Or do they really suffer from the delusion that gay people are not real?

  23. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    One can expect three things from Russian bishops: Stupidity, anti-Semitism and homophobia–but not necessarily in that order.

  24. James H says

    “same-sex marriage is leading to the end of the world”

    So, what’s the big deal? I thought this was every Xtian’s dream….Finally the 2nd coming, being whisked away to sit in gawd’s lap and all.

  25. Kevin says

    This is what the bigots in the U.S. like Brian Brown,Peter Laberra,Bryan Fischer and the rest have been praising Russia for.

  26. john patrick says

    I can’t figure out whether the patriarch’s hat is supposed to be a rocket ship or a dildo. Maybe it is a rocket ship about to take him to another world if this one comes to an end. Or maybe……

  27. Mmike1969 says

    Hmmm. Perhaps this “bishop” forgot false prophets is a sign of the apocalypse.

  28. andrew says

    The Winter Olympics must be taken out of this BACKWARD nation. Move them to any Northern European Nation.

  29. Neil says

    of course Stalin was a sign of wonderful things to come…Human Rights for homosexuals? ..well the death camp is a whole lot better.

  30. TonyJazz says

    Why would a gay person go to Russia as a tourist?

    Why would an intelligent straight person want to visit Russia when it is governed under these rules?

    Don’t go there. Don’t buy Russian products.

  31. Paul Simpson says

    Some of the comments on here are almost as ignorant as Kirill’s and the Russian government. This is not an example of Russian Orthodoxy. Watch the statements being made because you sound a lot like them.

  32. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    Mr Simpson, your attachment to your conception of Russian Orthodox piety is touching. But the political history of the Russian church is very, very ugly. And that ugliness didn’t begin today. Nor did it end at the time of the Revolution either. If you wanna see some real ugly, do some research on the Russian church and anti-Semitism–which has been allowed to come to flower again with the collapse of the Soviet state.

    As to homophobia, it’s worth mentioning that Orthodox bishops are chosen from among the celibate clergy. Sound familiar?

    Just sayin’…

  33. lejos del usa 6 says

    you USA types must learn-you do not control & own the free nations of the world–you invade nations– kill babys–bomb weddings & call it a “mistake” you are total hypocrites-what right do you have to tell Russia Venezuela Nigeria GHana Hungary etc what to do in their free nations?? you are like the slavers of old history- who killed millions in their slave ships of dooms–you are coloniualsts who are trying to impose your homosexual propaganda on nations that are free & sovreign– the late Presidente Chavez of Venezuela was so correct-=-you imperialists will stop at nothing to try to impose your rule –stay out of our nations– we don’t need you & your colonialst imperialisms