We need to talk about Russia

What’s happening in Russia at the moment is a travesty for human rights.

It’s basically illegal there to say you’re gay.

Here in Australia we increasingly take our dignity for granted. The fact that a majority of the time we can walk down the street with our partner holding hands. The fact that these days few of us fear that we might lose our current job because of our sexuality. The simple pleasure of wearing a rainbow with pride to an LGBTI event.

We’re fortunate to live in a country that is taking positive steps forward in regards to equal rights, but in Russia it’s a different story. Any of the above could have you arrested, beaten, tortured, imprisoned and in some cases lead to death.

FROM RUSSIA WITH HATE

A new law banning “homosexual propaganda” in Russia has many raising concerns about the country’s state of human rights, as attacks on the LGBTI community begin to finally get coverage in mainstream media.

The legislation might be vague, but its intent is clear. It is now illegal to spread information about “non-traditional sexual behaviour” to anyone under 18 years old. Not only are there hefty fines for those that disobey the law, foreigners are now subject to fines, risk imprisonment and deportation.

This parody video puts it mildly:

Anti-homosexual crackdowns are definitely not new in Russia. Back in 1933 the Soviet regime imposed a law banning sexual relations between men, punishable with a five-year prison term. While that was lifted after the fall of the Soviet Union, homophobia still runs very deep.

LGBTI rights marches are often broken up with violence, with the activists arrested instead of the violent attackers. Last week activists of the Moscow Gay Pride movement were detained for holding an unsanctioned rally and for promoting “untraditional sexual relations.”

via same same

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