Russia Hub

Anti-gay Russian Lawmaker Calls for Ban on Mail Carrying Tom of Finland Stamps

Tom of finland

Vitaly Milonov, the St. Petersburg lawmaker behind the city's anti-gay "propaganda" ban and the disruptions at last month's Queerfest, has called on the Russian Post to turn away any mail bearing postage stamps honoring the work of gay artist Tom of Finland, The Moscow Times reports:

MilonovThe stamps that have so enraged Milonov feature several provocative images, such as a man's bare buttocks with another man's face visible between his legs, and a naked man sitting between another man's legs.

In a letter to the head of Russian Post, Dmitry Strashnov, Milonov condemned the stamps for "contravening Russian law," the TASS news agency reported Saturday.

"They are basically elements of homosexual propaganda, which is banned in our country. I ask the leadership of Russian Post to pay close attention to this request. In addition, I urge the Finns themselves, our close neighbors, to refrain from using these stamps when sending letters to Russia," Milonov wrote, TASS reported.

The series of six stamps released last month by Finland's postal service has become a worldwide bestseller

Scott Lively Stars In Russian Anti-Gay Documentary: VIDEO

Scott Lively

Evil bigot and driving force behind Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill Scott Lively is being given another platform to spout his hate speech courtesy of the Russian government in a state-funded "documentary" called Sodom, because even in Russia they deliberately overlook the fact that God destroyed Sodom because of the city's "pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door," not gay butt sex.

The documentary was shown on television and produced by anti-gay TV host Arkady Mamontov, a man who actually blamed the Chelyabinsk meteorite explosion on the gay rights movement because in his fevered mind gays are also black mages who have learned to cast Meteor. In the U.S. Lively knows that his lies - such as that the average American is against homosexuality (false) - have little traction, but given Russia's relatively recent uptick in anti-gay sentiment Lively has fertile ground to disseminate his vitriol.

The video is available in full on YouTube and, as Joe Jervis points out, contains the usual shots of gay pride celebrations as examples of homosexual depravity, because everyone knows that straight people never take off their clothes and have parties in the streets.

The video, if you can stomach it, is available AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Scott Lively Stars In Russian Anti-Gay Documentary: VIDEO" »

U.S. Embassy Condemns Kyrgyzstan's 'Gay Propaganda' Law, Says It Harms Democracy

KyrgyzstanBack in March, an anti-gay "propaganda" law in the same vein as Russia's was introduced into Kyrgyzstan's parliament, infuriating Human Rights Watch and other pro-gay organizations. The U.S. government made no immediate moves to speak out against the bill, which would penalize those who aid in "'forming a positive attitude to untraditional sexual relations' among minors or in mass media" with jail sentences of up to a year. Now, the U.S. embassy in Kyrgyzstan has condemned the proposed legislation.

Yahoo! News reports:

"No one should be silenced or imprisoned because of who they are or whom they love. Laws that discriminate against one group of people threaten the fundamental rights of all people," the U.S. embassy in Kyrgyzstan said in a statement.

"Sweeping limits on civil society harm democracy."

There are strict processes in place for passing legislation in Kyrgyzstan: the bill must go through three readings and votes, and then be signed by the sitting president. Kyrgyz leaders maintain that the outcome is unclear while western press is more sure it will pass.

"It is unclear how this bill will move in (Kyrgzstan's) parliament. The draft law is still at a very early stage, and so far no one is ready to comment on it," said Kyrgyz presidential spokesman Kadyr Toktogulov.

However, both pro-government and opposition factions in the legislature have already mostly spoken in favor of the proposed law, with some deputies calling for making it even tougher.

Whatever the outcome in Kyrgyzstan, let's hope that no more anti-gay propaganda laws become a reality. The ill-effects on the LGBTQ community in Russia have been more than evident.

Russian Protestors Arrested During Peaceful Pro-LGBT Demonstration: VIDEO

Screenshot 2014-10-14 02.00.07

Russian authorities arrested eight organizers of a National Coming Out Day demonstration in Moscow this past weekend after being caught handing out fliers and unfurling pro-LGBT banners in Sokolniki Park. Though the demonstrators had obtained the necessary permits for their gathering, the local police force deemed the group’s activity as a public threat and swiftly dispatched the small crowd. Footage of the gathering reveals a relatively small congregation of people within a largely unoccupied park.

“They were criminal policemen, who watched the rally and waited for the moment to detain the participants,” Nikolai Baev, one of the detained activists told The Washington Blade. “This is a common practice in Putin’s country; a lot of police agents watch all rallies in Moscow.”

The organizers were rounded up by plainclothes police, placed into holding, and released hours later for no other reason than disobeying officers.

Watch video of the peaceful protest AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Russian Protestors Arrested During Peaceful Pro-LGBT Demonstration: VIDEO" »

Russian Exchange Student 'Afraid to Go Home' Over Fears of Russia's Persecution of Gays


The lawyer for the Russian gay teenager at the center of Russia's decision to end its student exchange program with the U.S. says her client is seeking political asylum in America due to fears of Russia's crackdown on its LGBT community, Radio Free Europe reports:

“Our client is afraid of returning to Russia because Russia persecutes gay people. That’s what this is about,” Susan Reed, an attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, told RFE/RL on October 7.

The boy lived with an American family and attended a U.S. high school in 2012-13 as part of the decades-old Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX).

But he did not return to his home country at the conclusion of the exchange as required by the program. His decision to remain in the United States emerged last week when Russia cited the case in its decision to suspend its participation in FLEX.

AstakhovAnnouncing the end of the country’s participation in FLEX, Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov [pictured right] said the student was "seduced" to stay in the U.S. by a Michigan gay couple. 

Reed told RFE/RL that the statements and reports from Russian officials seem to suggest “that there’s some person or some people whose sexual orientation is relevant. And that’s just not the case.”

“There’s no adoption, there’s no untoward behavior,” she said. “He met many caring adults, both gay and straight in the U.S., and he decided to stay here because he was afraid to go home.”

Check Out This Irish Senator's Awesome Smack Down of Russia's Anti-gay Propaganda Ban: VIDEO


Senator David Norris, Ireland's first openly gay person elected to public office, appeared on RT's Worlds Apart program this week to dissect Russia's ever-increasing crackdown on LGBT citizens and their rights. 

Explaining that Russia's attitudes towards gay rights are "30 years behind" Western sensibilities, Norris wasted no time in bringing up the "dishonest" campaign that the Russian Orthodox Church and lawmakers have led in trying to "protect children" with the country's anti-gay 'propaganda' ban. 

When host Oksana Boyko explained that perhaps Russia's anti-gay efforts were related more to protecting its cultural "heteronormativity" rather than criminalizing homosexuality or perpetuating discrimination, Norris fired back:

Russia with love"What about parades, marches banned by the mayor of Moscow? Why was that? What about the people being beaten up, being dragged out of their homes, being tortured, being subject to vicious, brutal attacks by thugs in Moscow with the police standing by. That's hardly equality...what we should be doing is making sure that our family structures are more rational and they reflect the views of everyone in society and that we protect everyone in society. We don't just do lip service for the individual's rights and say "Oh you can be homosexual in a hole in the ground somewhere as long as nobody knows about it, but we're perfectly alright with you being clobbered and battered to death on the streets of Moscow with the police turning the other way'" 

It's a 30 minutes segment, but well worth a full watch - especially towards the end when Boyko gets all flustered after being asked about Vladimir Putin's own sexuality in light of his fondness for "galloping around with little small beady eyes, half-naked on a horse."


Related: "Documentary To Russia With Love Looks at LGBT Rights in Russia in the Lead Up to Sochi Olympics: VIDEO"

Continue reading "Check Out This Irish Senator's Awesome Smack Down of Russia's Anti-gay Propaganda Ban: VIDEO" »


Towleroad - Blogged