LGBT Rights in Russia

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LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby ApacheFlame on Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:40 pm

For those that may be unaware, LGBT stands for Lesian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* (* could be sexual or gender) although there are may other acronyms used to describe people that don't subscribe to a heterosexual pigeon hole. Apologies if I have offended anyone for missing their acronym (often LGBT is written as LGBTQ etc), but I have kept with the most common acronym.

You may have heard recently that Stephen Fry wrote to David Cameron asking to boycott the winter olympics in Sochi next year. It was in and out of the news within a couple of days. However, maybe it is worth digging a little deeper into some of the atrocities going on in Russia. For some background: Homosexuality has only been legal in Russia since 1993 and so it is very much still in it's infancy in terms of it being understood and accepted in society. I would not be expecting Putin to legalise gay marriage any time soon, but the recent ban on homosexual propaganda is effectively reversing the law making it legal. I suppose you could say it more mimics the old US military "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" model, but that is not exactly progress.

So yes, this is awful, but what can be done about it. Well the truth is that one person alone will probably not change the world. I have written to my MP expressing concern at the government's reaction to the law banning homosexual propaganda. At the moment the UK has stated 'Deep Concern' over the actions of the Russian government, but no more. I was not intending this to be an advertisement, but it seems to have ended up that way. A friend of mine ran a recent web based campaign to 'lobby a lord' which saw floods of email traffic from individuals writing to their MPs on the subject of equal marriage in the UK, for which he was invited to downing street and thanked by the prime minister.

He is at it again, with the same campaign model. Write to your MP if you feel strongly enough about the subject. His website (http://lobbyforrussia.org/) gives you a geographical search based on your post code (UK Only, sorry!) so that you can find the contact details for your MP and write to them through the website. Even if you decide that is a step too far, please read the links and understand that these are human beings, being persecuted for something they have no control over. If you wish to see what I wrote then a copy is here. You may find that a point you would raise may have already been answered, I just did not want to repeat myself as that is lazy.

I am obviously willing for this to turn into a debate, but let's not get into the rights and wrongs of identifying with a specific sexuality/gender and keep this about Russia's treatment of LGBT people and the the international response to this.

If you want to write to your MP in support of the Russian people, then that would be amazing, but if you don't then I totally understand. Either way, thanks for reading.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Seraphina on Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:15 pm

Can't help with writing to an MP as I'm in NL but I'm with you on the issues in Russia.
It was a big topic at Gay Pride in Amsterdam a few weeks ago and reading the link you provided, I didn't even know half of the stuff that's going on there.
Living here, where same sex marriage seems to be the most normal thing in the world, it gives me the chills to read this and it's unbelievable that this can happen in a supposedly civilised country.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby ApacheFlame on Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:01 pm

It gets worse: http://t.co/jIGbWOb1d9 (TL;DR: People filming a beating of a trans woman, video in the link is an equality group in russia trying to publicise this to the outside world)

Everyone can lobby their local representative to their government (I just dont have a convenient website for everyone outside the UK :P) to raise the profile of what is happening. As you say, it gives me the chills, and we can try and do something about it or stand by and let it happen. It is just a case of what we can do that will have the most overall impact. Getting a flight to russia and taking on the world will only end up with you being imprisoned by the same laws that make it illegal to fly a rainbow flag. The Dutch have the right idea though when Putin recently came to visit:

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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Seraphina on Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:20 pm

Ah, you really gotta love the Dutch sometimes, there's no question which side they stand on!
I've done the tiny bit I can too (petitions, blog) but as far as governments are concerned I'm a bit of a nobody, German living in NL, not allowed to vote here and not registered in Germany so no representative for me lol
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Enigma on Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:08 pm

I'm with Russia. You can boycott whatever you want, it's not going to change anything.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby ApacheFlame on Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:22 pm

How exactly are you 'with Russia'? If you read my post you would realise I was not advocating boycotting the Sochi games.

If you are just being a troll as normal then I am afraid you are not getting a rise out of me. If you do advocate effectively criminalising homosexuality then all have done is demonstrate that bigotry is not limited to those in government.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Enigma on Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:57 pm

How is having different opinion and being Ultra-Conservative trolling? They aren't criminalising homosexuality, just banning the propagation of homosexuality.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Seraphina on Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:47 pm

Have you even read what has been going on there? It's not at all only about banning the propagation of homosexuality, that's what they use to justify their actions. Human rights are effectively being violated in Russia.
Ultra-conservatives, like you, seem to forget that the right to free speech they like to invoke to be able to say the things they do also applies to all others, including the LGBT community.
Only when they do use that right and speak freely it somehow isn't OK anymore and needs to be punished? Please :roll:
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Shuriken on Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:17 pm

Discriminating against homosexuals is like discriminating against people who are left handed. It's stupid and should be wholly opposed, if for no other reason, to bludgeon out the ignorance that perpetuates these kind of attitudes
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Unspecified on Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:26 pm

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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Snowbat on Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:23 am

Me, being a straight male myself, never quite understood the whole big fuss about LBTG rights. Why shouldn't these people be given the same rights as us? For what possible reason would we deny them anything? Do they hurt anyone? Do they do bad things? They're humans like everyone. They have blood in their veins, like everyone. They breathe air, like everyone.
I see no rational reason why we should deny any rights to them. Except maybe religious views... but that doesn't fall within "rational thought" for me.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Little_Devil on Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:39 pm

Sigh all this fuss about limiting another countries rights to govern itself.

If someone says they oppose same sex unions, I refuse to use words who's meanings have been hijacked by a minority movement, then they are out of order. Why do we need to make big issues of something like this. If Russia wants to limit same sex unions, then that is their right. I notice people in this country get worked up about other countries, and yet when Government in this country limits everyone's freedom the population says nothing, It is easy to sprout off about another country but not so easy in your own.
If you try having a peaceful assembly in the UK, you have to notify the police first, and then you may get refused, despite the right to peaceful assembly being a basic right written into the law and cannot be changed by any legislation.

Different countries have their own views, which can be based on many different cultural-legal histories, and we should not force a way of thinking onto another country.

I don't see why Steven Fry wants to get involved with Russia, it is not the only country that bars this, try telling the Saudi Arabians this or indeed most majority Islamic based countries.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby ApacheFlame on Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:56 am

You are completely missing the point LD. This is not a case of people not getting same sex unions and stamping their feet. This is a case of people being arrested for things as menial as holding hands as it would be classed as 'homosexual propaganda'. Russia should have the right to govern itself. It is not the law itself that is the problem, but the treatment of LGBT people in Russia because of this new law is horrible. Men being raped with beer bottles and then murdered. There are also other stories emerging of trans* women being beaten, just for being trans*. Or when MPs calling for corporal punishment of gay people in public places. Or religious supporters of LGBT rights being found murdered after speaking on the subject.

Now if the Russian government had just made this law and it was not being abused to the point that people are getting seriously hurt then it would be irritating, but as you say, probably none of our business. The same goes for muslim countries. It is a well known that something like having sex on the beach is going to land you in very hot water to say the least, but it is not being abused in the same way. There are not vigilante groups going around and beating the 7 shades out of people until they confess they are homosexual while the police look the other way.

OK, let's play Devil's advocate. Why not protest over Uganda's stance on LGBT people, where being openly homosexual can result in the death penalty. Yes, this is very screwed up. There are many causes that should be championed, not limited to LGBT rights, however is this a reason not to support a cause that someone has got off their backside to do something about? It's wonderfully absurd to complain about someone else's inaction if you're not actively trying to resolve the problem yourself...

You say that we should concentrate on what goes on in this country? OK. I have a particular interest in LGBT rights, so it is a cause I am happy to support. A very similar project, run by the same few people, was instrumental in getting the marriage equality pushed into the limelight. The guys in question were invited to downing street and thanked personally by the prime minister for their work, so it is a proven formula of showing the government with quantification how the public feels like about the topic at hand. So, I have entered into some form of activism to advance the LGBT cause in the UK and it was successful. Now am I allowed to be a part of activism about atrocities being committed against LGBT people in other countries?

Oh, also if you are interested I believe there is a formal protest on September 3rd (Facebook Event Page). The last demonstration a few weeks ago was entirely peaceful and went off without a hitch.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Little_Devil on Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:16 am

So what you are saying is that if a country has a law that bans something, and its own populace backs that law and shows it as violence, then we should step in and castigate that country, but if we get oil from them and a women gets raped in that country, we should put our hands over our mouths and say nothing ?
Indeed when a Government changes laws which restricts people and says they can stop and search anyone at whim, or stops them having a rally or wants to limit them under one guise or another with their internet usage, then we should also bury our heads in the sand, unless it is a minority group that is a political football, that is.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Binerexis on Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:55 pm

Devil, are you trying to say that it's fine if a country decides to make it illegal for people to hold hands or be open about their sexuality?
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Little_Devil on Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:15 pm

sigh, I always find it strange that people want to read their own thoughts into what someone says on the net, and have the inability to take what is said at face value.

In the UK the country has made laws and want to force more laws through that limits peoples freedom, and yet we have a load of sheep running around bleating about how someone else runs their country, whilst letting their own Government get away with flouting human rights.

I also find it strange that people always put their own ideas of liberty upon others, because of the culture they have been brought up with, and think nothing at all about someone else's way of life and beliefs. We have many religions in this world, with people who's faith and values are being, not only questioned, but trying to be over-ruled by way of political threats, and a public opinion from a completely different country.

If the role were reversed, and the Russians got up in arms about some of the things the populace does in this country, I can make bets people who are all for LGBT would be the first up in arms and be offended, that the Russians had made any comments.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Binerexis on Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:31 pm

Well if the Russians had made comments saying that being gay should be illegal or they're not allowed to be open about it here then I'm certain the LGBT community and those outside it would be just as angry as they are now. It's worth noting that this isn't just the Russian populace doing this, it's their GOVERNMENT.

How someone is brought up, their culture and their religion is completely irrelevant when there's only one important thing: Don't be a dick. The Russian government is acting like a gigantic dick to homosexuals at the moment and people are voicing their objection to it. Going back to my last post, do you think it's fine if a country decides to make it illegal for people to be open about their sexuality? If so, why?
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Little_Devil on Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:17 pm

You are saying Don't be a dick from your own perspective, brought up in a completely different culture. Its like calling a crocodile a dick for biting your leg off, it will not make a blind bit of difference, it is in its nature. You have never had to live under the communist parties rule, so have no idea about the culture of that country, and yet want to impose your standards on another country. People are so lame, they create a storm about LGBT, and yet do nothing when there are far more important issues, not just in other countries, but right under their own noses.

How someone is brought up, their culture and their religion is completely irrelevant when there's only one important thing

Completely stupid statement. Try actually going to that country or indeed any Islamic country and air those views. It is the culture and religion of a country that determines its moral stance, not some whimsical expression of oh lets go queer bashing.
Try going to China or North Korea and telling them that communists are all dicks, see how far you get when you tell them culture has nothing to do with yours or there stance.
Try going to an Islamic state and hold hands or kiss someone of the same sex, tell them religion has nothing to do with it, it is the Islamic clergy that makes these laws.
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Binerexis on Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:31 pm

Little_Devil wrote:You are saying Don't be a dick from your own perspective, brought up in a completely different culture. Its like calling a crocodile a dick for biting your leg off, it will not make a blind bit of difference, it is in its nature.


So it's just in the nature of people to hate LGBT? It's that the comparison you're trying to draw? Who knows, maybe I'm a freak in regards to the species but it's never been in my nature to deny other people the exact same human rights I have.

To say that I've never lived under a communist regime and I've therefore got no right to comment is so idiotic that I'm glad I was sitting down when I read that. That's like me saying that you've never lived in my house so therefore can't comment on the fact that I treat people terribly there.

I'm guessing, by the way, that you not answering my earlier question that you do think it's ok for a country to make it illegal to be open about your sexuality. I'd ask you again to qualify why but I don't see much of a point seeing as you don't want to answer.

Why do I need to go to a country where people are acting like dicks to call them dicks? Is their dickitude made any less true if I don't say it on their home turf? It's like me saying that rap music is terrible and your response is "Well say that at a rap concert and see what happens"; all it would prove is that people in that demographic would disagree with the added bonus of potential violence (reacting with violence, by the way, is categorised under 'dick moves').
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Re: LGBT Rights in Russia

Postby Little_Devil on Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:47 pm

To say that I've never lived under a communist regime and I've therefore got no right to comment is so idiotic that I'm glad I was sitting down when I read that.

Would you like to point out where I said that ?

No question was avoided.
sigh, I always find it strange that people want to read their own thoughts into what someone says on the net, and have the inability to take what is said at face value.

They are your thoughts, not mine.

If you want to read words into what I actually write, that is your problem not mine. You should be actually reading what I wrote, and stop trying to colour it with your own perspective view.

I have had my say, no use flogging a dead horse. Completely biased opinions do not interest me, since you can never get someone to actually see there are two sides to this and not some jaded point of view about I am right you are wrong.

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