Creep of the Week

Creep of the Week: The Moscow City Government

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As you probably already know, Russia is not exactly a paradise for LGBT people. Even talking about being gay is a crime there because it might corrupt children somehow. In fact, the only gay-related speech allowed in Russia appears to be hate speech toward gays, accompanied by ass kickings. You know, to set a good example for children.

Violence against LGBT folks is rampant. In fact, The Advocate reported that on Nov. 3 a meeting of the Rainbow Coffee Party, an LGBT social group in St. Petersburg, was paid a little visit by some gun and baseball bat toting thugs who sent two people to the hospital with injuries.

In other words, the climate in Russia is so anti-gay that a coffee klatch is cause enough for violence. It is not clear how many Russian children were saved from the perils of homosexuality by this courageous act.

An anti-gay parent group even wants to ban Elton John. Because Elton John is the gayest. But John still plans to pack his “funny” glasses for a December tour date in Russia. As he told The Guardian, “I’ve got to go. And I’ve got to think about what I’m going to say very carefully. There’s two avenues of thought: do you stop everyone going, ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you’re really leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation. As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ve got to go.”

Good for him. And I hope he doesn’t end up in jail.

Being anti-gay under the guise of protecting children is common. Russia’s anti-propaganda law is really no different than the arguments against acknowledging in America’s schools that LGBT kids exist by including them in anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policies. There’s this pervasive fear that if kids get wind of this gay stuff, they’ll just have to try it out. It’s a weak, and stupid argument, but it has had some success here in the states.

And Russia has gone ahead and made this terrifically stupid argument the law of the land. Which leads to headlines like, “Russia bans tribute to gay victims of Nazi Germany.” According to the Gay Star News, “Around 20 participants applied to hold a peaceful event in Kudrinskaya Square in Moscow on 5 November.” They wanted to commemorate the gays who died in the Holocaust and those who were arrested during World War II. And the Moscow City Government told them to go borscht themselves. On Halloween, no less.

And why did authorities in Moscow nix the peaceful demonstration? Because, according to GSN, “paying tribute to gay victims of Nazi Germany could potentially ‘influence’ children on homosexuality.”

That’s right folks. Should any hapless children be exposed to a group of people commemorating horrible atrocities against gay people, those children might be “influenced.” What “influenced” means here is unclear, though I suspect that the Moscow authorities would find it in poor taste to accidentally engender some feelings of sympathy toward gays because kids are pretty keen at recognizing gross injustice. Of course, “influence” could also mean that authorities are worried that kids witnessing the demonstration would “turn gay.”

Because as we all know, nothing is a better advertisement for homosexuality than a mass genocide. I mean, pretty soon all of the cool kids are going to be wearing the pink triangle and then heterosexuality is basically doomed. Because nobody wants to be part of the lame-o unoppressed crowd.

Keep it classy, Russia.

DAnne Witkowski

D'Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.

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