Monday, June 3, 2013

Anti-Gay Russian Sentiment Claims Another Victim

By Brody Levesque | PETROPAVLOVSK, KAMCHATKA, RUSSIA -- The killing of a 39 year old airport deputy administrator last Wednesday was fueled by the victim's sexual orientation Russian police officials told LGBTQ Nation Monday.
According to investigators, three suspects from village of Zaporozhye, who are under arrest, stabbed and trampled their victim to death last week, then placed the victim's body in his car and set it on on fire. The trio told them that they killed the victim "because their fellow villager had a non-traditional sexual orientation," using a Russian euphemism for gay. The victim died at the scene from his injuries. Then the suspects tried to cover up the crime by putting the body in his car, pouring on petrol and setting it alight, investigators said. 
This murder comes less than a month after a 23 year old gay man was tortured and killed after revealing he was gay in the southern Russian city of Volgograd.
Nikolai Alexeyev, Russia's most prominent LGBTQ equality rights activist, said that the rise in numbers of homophobic violence is being fueled by Russian President Vladimir Putin's conservative agenda.
"Now the deputy director of an airport has been killed in Kamchatka. Because he was gay. And it's going to get worse," Alexeyev said.
Alexeyev pointed out that the murder was an example of rising violence against the Russian LGBTQ community, which he and other activists fear is being "sanctified" by a bill backed by Putin's allies in parliament that would ban spreading "homosexual propaganda" among minors. He added that it is part of a "homophobic policy" that is giving Russians carte blanche to attack gays. 
After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Homosexuality was decriminalised, however, an independent poll last month by the Russian Levada Center last month found 38 percent of Russians believe LGBTQ people need treatment as they are "sick" and 13 percent said they should face prosecution. 
While Putin has publicly stated that Russia does not discriminate against LGBTQ people, he has championed socially conservative values and the moral authority of the Russian Orthodox Church during his new term which began a year ago.
The news of this second lethal attack came as Alexei Levchenko, a spokesman for Russia's deputy prime minister, Olga Golodets, announced Saturday that a constitutional amendment restricting foreign adoptions to "traditional" families would be submitted by the government to parliament in its autumn session. This comes after Putin said last month that a French law allowing same sex marriage went against traditional Russian values.