Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brody's Notes... Russian Gay Teen Imprisoned In Drug Rehab For Coming Out Is Released

Marshak drug rehabilitation facility.
By Brody Levesque | MOSCOW, RUSSIA -- 16 year old Ivan Kharchenko spent 12 days in the Marshak drug rehabilitation facility after being forcibly admitted by his irate traditionalist father, who was angered when Ivan came out as openly gay earlier this month. According to LGBTQ equality rights activist Dmitry Aleshkovsky, Kharchenko's friends and his supporters staged an improvised siege of the facility, freeing him and placed him in the custody of his mother, who said she was not opposed to her son's being gay.
Aleshkovsky said that the State Duma deputy from the Just Russia party, Ilya Ponomaryov along with Violetta Volkova, a human rights lawyer, took on the young teen's case and participated in successfully having him released from the facility. Both insisting that Kharchenko's placement in the rehab without his consent amounted to kidnapping.
Russian journalist Alex Eremenko said that Kharchenko publicly admitted his homosexuality at his 16th birthday earlier this month. His announcement did not disturb his classmates and peers, but angered his relatives including his grandmother who tricked her grandson into going to a “witch” who unsuccessfully attempted to exorcize the “spirit of homosexuality” from him.
After the failure to exorcise the youth's "homosexuality" his father took Kharchenko to the drug clinic and left him there allegedly against his will. “I’d rather have you disabled or a vegetable than gay,” the boy’s father was cited as saying to a local radio station. 
According to the activists who managed to free the teen, Kharchenko was so drugged he was forgetting his friends’ names although he had placed a banner apparently addressed to his boyfriend declaring his love in his window in the rehab which promptly taken down by clinic staffers. Kharchenko was released on late Tuesday and spent the night at his mother’s after his grandmother refused to take him back. 
A spokesman for the Moscow Militia, [Police] said that law enforcement officials would be investigating the claims of false imprisonment and kidnapping. 
LGBTQ equality rights is a controversial topic now in the Russian Federation largely due to recent laws were passed by lawmakers in three regions including Russia's second largest city, St. Petersburg, that bans discussion of homosexuality to minors. 
That vaguely-worded piece of legislation was denounced as homophobic propaganda by LGBT activists in Russia and beyond, but a bill proposing to spread the ban nationwide was later introduced into the Russian national parliament known as the State Duma and is pending review. 
Ninety-four percent of Russians said they have never encountered gay propaganda, but 86 percent still support a ban on it, according to a poll by state-run television earlier this month. During a recent broadcast discussing LGBTQ rights, approximately 60 percent of some 750 callers at Radio Ekho Moskvy said their offspring being gay would be a “tragedy” for them.


Trab said...

94% have never encountered it, but 86% support a ban on it; it being "gay propaganda". At first glance one is tempted to condemn them for stupidity, but a second thought makes one wonder if their fear isn't something that is mirrored in America just as much.

I can well imagine a figure of 98% of us never having encountered 'witchcraft propaganda', and 95% supporting a ban on such, despite legal protection for religious beliefs in the USA.

Fear of the unknown and the misunderstood has been a huge and erroneous motivational mechanism for many, if not most, of the world's worse oppressions and genocides. Fear is a tool well used by those in power, to control thought, feelings, and ultimately get rid of those who disagree with them.