Thursday, November 21, 2013

World

Russian President says xenophobic attitude towards Russian LGBTQ people is wrong

Russian President Vladimir Putin * File Photo
By Brody Levesque | MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin told a group of political leaders Wednesday that the nation and its people and government shouldn't adopt a xenophobic attitude towards people with different sexual orientations. His statement came after a question was posed to the Russian leader as lawmakers expressed concerned about the rising levels of violent attacks against LGBTQ Russians and other minorities in the Russian Federation.
"Not on the same principle, we should not create a society such xenophobia against anyone else, including in respect of people with different sexual orientation," Putin said at a meeting with leaders of non-parliamentary parties. 
"You know, as I listened to a lot of criticism- but all that we have done at the government, at the legislative level - it was all due to a limitation of propaganda among minors," he added.
Putin signed a law banning "the promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships" this past June, which sparked international outrage and criticism from activists and western political leaders. The measure was part of a series of legislative measures advanced by the Russian Parliament including the ban of adoption of Russian children by foreign LGBTQ individuals or same-sex couples or couples from nations which have legalized same-sex marriages.  
Russian LGBT equality rights activist Viacheslav Revin took exception to Putin's remarks telling LGBTQ Nation Thursday;
"You can explain it (Putin's statement) in three words. It's a lie. In Russia there is a system - "say" and "do" . It is a strategy- a card trick, he is spouting distracting conversation so that you do not watch his hands. 
If he wants to really talk about changing policy on LGBT people then that can be when the police will arrest all the occupy paedophilia participants in all regions of Russia. In dozens of cities there are dozens of victims of extrajudicial reprisal and homophobic bullying."
Since ban on "gay propaganda" took effect, the Russian LGBT community has been harassed, kidnapped, beaten, raped, and arrested for gathering in public, protesting the law, waving rainbow flags, or speaking out against homophobia.
Putin's remarks came less than 48 hours before the LGBT film festival 'Side by Side's' opening in St. Petersburg Thursday was delayed after being disrupted by a bomb threat. The festival was later allowed to open after the police cleared the threat.
There have also been at least two murders of gay men in the past six months and countless incidents of violent attacks by organised groups against LGBT persons using the Russian social media giant website VK.com.
Earlier this month using baseball bats and air-pellet guns, a group of masked thugs forced their way into a community meeting of LGBT equality rights activists at a community meeting at an HIV and STD information clinic in St. Petersburg, injuring two attendees with a baseball bat and pneumatic gun.  According to a St. Petersburg police official who confirmed the incident, one of the LGBT activists attending was shot in the eye by one of the assailants and sent to hospital where according to Doctors, he has lost use of that eye. 
Russian authorities recently initiated criminal proceedings against a Russian ultra-nationalist principally responsible for several homophobic assaults on LGBT persons as leader of one of the groups, Occupy Paedophilia, which, also included attacks on citizens from Ukraine, Iraq, and South Africa.
But, Human Rights activist Larry Poltavtsev thinks that Putin has lost control over the extremist groups responsible for a good deal of the violence as a result of the law's passage.
"The genie is out of the bottle," Poltavtsev said. "He can't control them, they (the ultra-nationalist-Neo-Nazis groups) are in control.  The problem is that the anti-gay propaganda law and its genesis is now also passed from the gays to the other minorities- this will threaten the Sochi Olympic games. 
This, this is damage control. He wants to disassociate himself from these Neo-Nazis groups and the other extrajudicial activists."

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