|A gay protestor is arrested in St. Petersburg|
In a move reminiscent of Tsarist efforts to blame Russia's domestic problems on disliked minorities by inciting anti-Jewish pogroms and other forms of bigotry, Vladimir Putin has signed a sweeping "anti-gay propaganda" bill into law that can only stir up anti-gay animus and violence. Signing the law will win Putin points with the utterly reactionary leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church and be a distraction from Putin's own failed policies. Meanwhile, the move will do nothing to enhance the image of Russia as a modern nation, nor will it help Russia's tourism industry. But then again, Putin seems only concerned with retaining power at what ever cost. NOTE: foreigners can be arrested and serve jail time under this anti-gay law. The Washington Blade looks at this disgusting development:
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday signed a bill into law that bans the “promotion of homosexuality” to minors.
The Associated Press reported Putin signed the measure — under which individuals will face fines of between 4,000 and 5,000 rubles ($124-$155) and government officials would face fines of between 40,000 and 50,000 rubles ($1,241-$1,551) — less than a week after Russia’s upper house of Parliament approved it.
Organizations will also face a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($31,000) or suspension of their activities for up to 90 days. Foreigners will also face up to 15 days in jail and deportation.
“I was sure it would be passed,” Nikolai Alekseev of Gay Russia, an LGBT advocacy group, told the Washington Blade during an interview from Moscow after the Duma vote. “It will now be signed by the president, who is very much using this fight against homosexuals in his campaign to attract voters.”
Two men in Volgograd and on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s Far East in recent weeks have been killed during what local authorities have described as anti-gay attacks. Police in St. Petersburg on Saturday arrested 40 LGBT advocates . . . .
Alekseev and a growing number of other LGBT rights advocates have also called for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 World Cup that will also take place in Russia. “[They are] a very good opportunity to raise particular concerns,” Alekseev told the Blade earlier this month. “One of the ways for many countries would be to boycott these international sporting events because they take place in a country which doesn’t respect basic human rights.”
Personally, I say let's boycott - or better yet move the Olympic games and World Cup to a less bigoted and reactionary country.