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.