Russian Leader Says Gays ‘Sabotaging’ Blood System, Proposes Gay-to-Straight Conversion Program

DegtyaryovState Duma Deputy Mikhail Degtyaryov, a Moscow mayoral candidate for the LDPR party, is calling for a ban on blood donations by gay men, The Moscow Times reports:

"[Degtyarov] said Monday that his proposal is not an act of discrimination but a precautionary measure since over 65 percent of HIV-infected individuals are men, Interfax reported…

Degtyaryov said that the Duma is also considering a program to provide anonymous and voluntary counseling for gay and bisexual people who want to be heterosexual. "Many want to return to a normal life, to become heterosexual like 95 to 99 percent of our citizens," Degtyaryov said.

He also said that failure to forbid homosexuals from donating blood is a type of "sabotage."


  1. Gregory In Seattle says

    The dam has broken: prepare for a towering wave of homophobic hate over the coming months. I wonder how long before someone seriously proposes ghettos and concentration camps.

  2. says

    @Gregory, well they do propose recriminalization every few years, usually before an election. Before 1993 it was 3 years in the camps.

    This guy is from LDPR, that’s Zhirinovsky’s party, reputed to be full of gays.

  3. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    I know it’s pointless to ask, but–how could the Russian leadership by a full generation (at least) behind the times? Did they just hear about HIV disease? Or are they so messed up that they new believe that homosexuality is in the blood and so they’re afraid “it” will spread if out blood is transfused into another person?

    And where are Russian scientists in all this? For God’s sake..!

  4. Billy says


    and that’s a demonizing thing.

    Gay men are the most HEALTHY AND VIBRANT elements of life. THEY NEED OUR BLOOD, for goodness sakes.

    I’m going to talk about this more. When you deny the flesh – you hate – It makes it possible to say that we’re OTHER..

    We need to push to change this !

  5. MaryM says

    Russia is collapsing.

    The scapegoating of the LGBT population is merely to divert attention from the fact that Russia is falling apart at the seams with a falling population; very low life expectancy and chronic alcoholism decimating communities.

    The sooner China invades and takes over the better.

  6. Gregory In Seattle says

    @Billy – Russia is becoming a theocracy, dominated and controlled by the Russian Orthodox Church. I greatly fear that things will get much, much worse before they get better.

    @Daniel Berry – All of the problems of modern Russian life would go away if the Chosen Scapegoat could be dealt with. This stems from the one thing that religion knows how to do right: offer a simplistic answer to a very complex problem.

  7. Billy says


    It’s a momentary lapse of reason with Russia. They never had progressive movements like we did here, in good old U.S.A. (the best nation on Earth!)

    We’ll win. That’s what my spirit says.

  8. terry says

    True our blood is tainted in the US but at least we can hold hands and in some states marry. In Russia gays are about to be pronounced enemies of the state. the government has no external enemy so they unify their hate against the internal enemy, it’s all been done before. South Africa paid a heavy international price for its lack of human rights but Russia gets away with it because homophobia runs so deep.

  9. HadenoughBS says


    Yes, just as Germany was falling apart in the decades following the end of WWI, it was the Nazis plan to divert attention from the German government’s problems by blaming the country’s ills on the Jews, the gays, the gypsies, et al.

    Russia seems to be employing the Nazi propaganda playbook by diverting their post-Communist country’s attention onto Russian (and interloping foreign) gays and their supporters as a source of Russian problems, especially those of “the children”.

    Deplorable and despicable.

  10. Gigi says

    Sounds crazy but there’s a lifetime ban on blood donations from American gay men already in place. In Britain and Australia, gay men who haven’t had sex with other men for at least a year are eligible to donate. In South Africa the deferral period is six months. In Canada, a 30 ban was lifted but a five year abstinence from sex is required for gay men who want to donate blood. The “gay-to-straight” conversions will have the Talibangelists dancing in the streets. Russian tourism for H8ers is about to explode.

  11. pedro says

    Statistically speaking gay men have a higher HIV rate. It makes perfect sense to ban gay blood. It is a lot cheaper to just ban gay blood that to do the extra precautions that would be needed, more personnel would have to be hired etc. Gay men do tend to have more sex partners and are at a higher risk, Anal sex is higher risk than vaginal sex…just reality. The rest of their laws however, are oppressive

  12. northalabama says

    we all know that only gay men carry a risk of hiv with blood donations, as the same policy has been so well established in our own country for decades.

    russia purposly picked a policy in which the the usa would be vulnerable, so they could point back at us and say “they do it too”.

    who looks like hypocrites, now?

  13. says

    Yes, they know the U.S. can’t cry foul on the blood donations since we’ve had the same (outdated, unnecessary) policy in effect for years. But interesting that suddenly they’re worried about it–gee, why could that be? HIV among drug users is a much bigger problem in Russia (not to mention all their other health issues), yet no interest in tackling that, surprise surprise, just the gay stuff.

    The ex-gay program, too, has its American roots, though here it’s on its way out, which means it a perfect time for the Russians to embrace it.

    Expect more of this as they compete to anti-gay each other and Putin ups the anti-gay stakes in an attempt to hang on to his dictatorship.

  14. jamal49 says

    @Gregory You are so correct in your vision for the future of LGBT people in Russia. Camps and ghettos HAVE been proposed and debated in The Duma and in Russian society overall.

    Nothing has changed from the fall of The Romanov Dynasty and the 70 or so ensuing years of Bolshevik rule to the fall of Bolshevism and the rise of the criminal oligarchy.

    Russia is a sick, crumbling, decadent society beleaguered by its obsessive nationalism, xenophobia and the Russian people’s natural tendency toward extremist reaction.

    Russia also is a society and culture firmly based in alcoholism with all of its subsequent mental and spiritual corruptions. Russia has the highest incidences of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in the world. Russia has the highest incidences of violence against women, e.g. domestic spousal abuse and rape, in the world, attributable to rampant alcoholism.

    True to Russia’s history, whenever Russian society falters or nears the brink of complete collapse, Russians never fail to find a scapegoat, someone to blame for Russia’s ills and woes. In this incarnation of Russia, it is the LGBTQ community.

    It is important that we stay aware of what is happening in Russia. The worst is yet to come.

  15. Gregory In Seattle says

    @pedro – “Statistically speaking gay men have a higher HIV rate.”

    At the end of 2011, there were about 34 million people on Earth with HIV. 68% lived in sub-Saharan Africa. In some countries — South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana — upwards of 15% to 24% of the population have HIV. Of all the people with HIV, 10% are aged 14 or younger. Of the adults, more than half are women. Since 2006, HIV/AIDS has been the leading cause of death among women in their reproductive years.

    The United States and Canada are the only countries on the planet where HIV is largely a disease among gay men, and that is changing: in the US, African American women are the fastest growing group of new HIV cases. In Europe, about half of new cases are straight men and women. In the rest of the world, HIV/AIDS is overwhelmingly a heterosexual disease.

    It is barely factual to blame gay men for HIV in the United States. There is no factual basis at all to blame gay men for HIV anywhere else on the planet.

  16. Hagatha says

    Until HIVAIDS is truly curable or there is a vaccine it makes perfect sense to attempt to limit risk by eliminating high risk groups from the donor pool. But there is more than one high risk group for HIV (and other diseases) and only the one group (and the least identifiable at that) is excluded.

    Of course, Mother Russia doesn’t have very many black people.

  17. pedro says

    We are not talking about Africa…in first world countries gay men are the number 1, carriers of HIV. It may not be politically correct, but it is still true.

  18. whitneyisadude says

    Oh! Just read up on this dude bjes running for mayor of Moscow this year and he’s consistently received 1% of the vote in pre election polls. This explains the anti gay vitriol.

  19. andrew says

    Few things are really voluntary in a backward authoritarian society like Russia. The “voluntary” Gay to Straight Conversion Programs would probably be run by some of the old Communists who use to run Re-Education Programs for those not sufficiently communist enough.

  20. Kevin says

    @ Terry: No, Russia gets away with it (mistreating gay people) not “because homophobia runs so deep.” They get away with it because they’re a nuclear power, and they know that neither us nor the Chinese can force them to change. South Africa didn’t have that kind of “ace in the hole,” so they eventually had to bow to international pressure.
    Seriously. Same reason that we haven’t helped the Syrians; the Russians support Assad and they won’t budge. If we help Syria, then Russia is obligated to help Assad. So, stalemate.

  21. GregV says

    @Pedro: If unprotected anal sex with a large number of sex partners make one more susceptible to HIV (as, indeed, it does), then why not ask about those activities rather than about the gender of the partner?
    A man who has had sex with no one ever except his healthy, HIV-negative husband for his entire life and who has never had anal sex at all is forbidden from donating in the US, even though he has zero risk of HIV.
    A woman who has had unprotected anal sex orgies with 10,000 men is free to donate, even though she probably IS infected (though her blood will be rejected when it tests as positive, anyway).
    There are all kinds of ways that one could crunch the numbers to label various UNinfected people as high risk because they belong to a group (all heterosexual women or all males or all people who speak an African language, etc., etc..) and there is no logical reason to pick all MSM as a group to ban from donating.

  22. mododavid says

    This is not an inflammatory statement. State-sponsored gay-straight conversions are what preceded gays being sent to concentration camps in WWII Europe. Watch “A Love to Hide” if you don’t know our history. This behavior by the Russian government has reached its limits. It can’t be allowed to continue.

  23. Hagatha says

    “A woman who has had unprotected anal sex orgies with 10,000 men is free to donate, even though she probably IS infected”

    The Red Cross blood donation guidelines would preclude a person as you have described from donating blood. She would be considered a person of increased risk.

  24. says

    All donated blood in the US is tested for HIV antibodies. While this is not a perfect screen, it does mean that lie-risk gay men should be allowed to donate.

    As for Russia, they have a long history of paternalistic totalitarianism. Glasnost’ was nice and all, but an aberration.

  25. todd says

    And the USSR creating Nazi style death camps in…3…2…1…On a lighter note, I am happy the US is starting to loosen marital immigration restrictions. This way it may help some Russian LGTB spouses escape the tyranny.

  26. GregV says

    “The Red Cross blood donation guidelines would preclude a person as you have described from donating blood. She would be considered a person of increased risk.”

    @Hagatha: No, she would not. A woman who has had anal sex orgies with 10,000 men and imagines (irrationally) that they are all healthy is free to donate.

    The full questionnaire is here:

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