BlueBloggin

Taking Texas And The Nation Back

Russian Gays Face Tough Road Toward Equality

Posted by bosskitty on August 11, 2007

Most Seem to Favor Low-Key Approach Over Confrontational One

By Anton Troianovski Special to The Washington Post Saturday, August 11, 2007

… with a small gay rights movement taking shape amid a more frank pop culture, gays are struggling with altogether different questions. Should they openly confront what many people see as growing homophobia in a society where nationalism is on the rise and grass-roots social movements are almost nonexistent?

A handful of activists made headlines around the world this past spring when they were viciously beaten by Russian nationalists at a gay rights protest in central Moscow. Riot police on the scene offered no protection. The activists claimed a partial victory, arguing that media coverage allowed the whole world to witness the plight of gays in Russia.

Firm resistance is needed, said Alexey Davidov, 30, a leader of the march. Gays who disagree “don’t realize, if things keep going the way they’re going, how many dead bodies there will be all around Russia 50 years from now.”

Campaigners say homophobia is as much a political as a social issue. They note that nationalists portray gay groups as conspiring with foreigners to smear Russia’s reputation. On May 29, for instance, several journalists published a letter in the pro-Kremlin Trud daily that said: “The short-lasting arrests [at the protest] allowed the foreign press to get video footage of the ‘violation of the rights of sexual minorities’ — which is in high demand in the nascent large-scale psychological war against Russia.”

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But other gays express skepticism over an approach that pushes them into the public eye. “Some people come to wave their fists, and others come to prove that we’re gays, we’re somebody and aren’t scared of you,” said Svetlana, 17, at a Moscow city park frequented by gays. “What can come of it?”

A handful of activists made headlines around the world this past spring when they were viciously beaten by Russian nationalists at a gay rights protest in central Moscow. Riot police on the scene offered no protection. The activists claimed a partial victory, arguing that media coverage allowed the whole world to witness the plight of gays in Russia.

In politics, gay groups have found next to no allies. None of the small parties that advocate Western-style democracy have made an issue of gay rights; some of them argue that Russia has much bigger problems.

Despite the hostility, gay life in Moscow quietly beats on. On July 7, a lesbian couple exchanged the marriage vows of the Russian Orthodox Church. The ceremony, held in a cramped apartment that is home to two couples, was attended by a handful of close friends, but no parents.

“God has no people whom He turns away or doesn’t accept,” Skripnik-Dardaki said. “And gays are the most glaring example of these people who are turned away — exiled, besmirched, spat-upon, damned.”

Some day humans that populate this planet will be accepted as humans who populate this planet. Humans are responsible for caretaking the environmental sustainability of this planet for the welfare of fellow humans. Political and religious excuses for excluding any segment of the human population are totally unacceptable. Prosecute humans who hurt other humans.

All humans were created by the same higher power for one reason or other. When humans turn against one another, it is of their own making and not the making of the higher power. If you really think that a higher power is amused at the conflict we perpetrate upon one another, you are delusional. Are humans just a spectator sport? Humans are certainly living out a Roman Coliseum side show for someone out there. We are responsible for our own despair and have no heavenly excuse for what we do to each other!

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