Quantcast

«

»

Sep 09 2013

Russia’s Bigotry Could Get Worse

As if the appalling law against “homosexual propaganda” — defined as merely acknowledging that one is gay in public — isn’t bad enough, a new law has been proposed in the Russian Duma that would take custody away from any parent who comes out as gay.

new bill proposed in the Russian State Duma confirms that the country is specifically targeting LGBT people for oppression under its laws. The new legislation, proposed by MP Aleksey Zhuravlev, deputy of the Duma, would use a parent’s sexuality as grounds to deny child custody.

If an opposite-sex couple had children, but then one spouse came out as gay and they separated, that parent could be denied custody under this bill just for having a “non-traditional sexual orientation.” It similarly would deny custody on the grounds of alcoholism, drug use, a history of violence, insanity, and abuse.

According to Zhuravlev, it’s not just enough to ban “gay propaganda” in public spaces, “but also in the family” because it can do “great harm” to the child’s mind.

But don’t worry, Putin listens to Tchaikovsky and he might have been gay so Russia is totally equal and stuff.

31 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    oranje

    Yeesh. Where is this coming from all of a sudden? Or has it been there and just poorly covered by the media outlets I’ve seen?

  2. 2
    raven

    The Russians have never quite gotten the idea of civilization.

    What they are doing is scapegoating. An idea so old it comes out of the bible.

    Rather than develop a civilization, they just find some minority group to beat up on. It used to be the Jews and cats, nowadays it is…the gays.

  3. 3
    Ellie

    Perhaps this is just what is needed to persuade Bryan Fischer he should move to Russia?

  4. 4
    Raging Bee

    Where’s it coming from? It’s coming from a combination of hard times and incompetent “leaders” looking for scapagoats to divert both attention and blame away from their own failures. And I, for one, expect to see a lot more of it in the foreseeable future.

  5. 5
    theschwa

    “It similarly would deny custody on the grounds of alcoholism, drug use, a history of violence, insanity, and abuse.”
    Who gets the kids, the crazy drug addict or the homosexual? Do they check for HOW gay someone is? Do they balance it out, or is gay an auto-ban from getting the kids?

    I see here, sir, that you are addicted to heroin, hear voices (not the good God kind, either), and beat your wife. But you never let a homogay touch your penis. Congrats, you get the kids. your lesbo “wife”: gets bupkiss.

  6. 6
    Nick Gotts

    The Russians have never quite gotten the idea of civilization. – raven

    You really don’t see the irony in meeting one kind of bigotry with another, do you, raven?

  7. 7
    anubisprime

    Bet the right wing religiotards are gazing with envy and longing at the old traditional enemy the commie’s wonderful system of government …the irony is one of the sweetest there can be post McCarthy.

  8. 8
    anubisprime

    Well it would be sweet if it was not one of the sickest and most twisted bigoted administrations on Earth…..

  9. 9
    raven

    You really don’t see the irony in meeting one kind of bigotry with another, do you, raven?

    Neither do you.

    Why don’t you find someone else to troll?

  10. 10
    democommie

    “The Russians have never quite gotten the idea of civilization.”

    I would consider that a stretch. I feel it would be VERY safe to say that they’ve never really gotten the idea of representative democracy; they seem to prefer the Tsarist model whether the fealty is to a state church or a church state.

    When you live in a country that is unapologetic about pogroms, poGAYroms will be fine with those who “слепо следовать, слепо последовать*”.

    Considering Putin’s saber rattling in the Med and his anti-teh GAY crusade one might wonder if he’s micro-penised. Nah, he’s prolly just a fucking coward and bully, totalitarianism changes faces, not much else.

    * “follow like sheep” (translation source:http://dictionary.imtranslator.net/english-russian-common-words-pro/sheep/)

  11. 11
    Alverant

    Even under “godless” communism they were against homosexuals. Now they’re getting worse now that religion has gotten its claws into their government.

  12. 12
    robertbaden

    The idea of Russia being a nation of barbarians (and Orthodox heretics, not Catholics or Protestant) goes back to the 19th Century. Had a lot to do with colonialism.

  13. 13
    robertbaden

    And it’s not like the US was all that better within my lifetime.

  14. 14
    raven

    The idea of Russia being a nation of barbarians (and Orthodox heretics, not Catholics or Protestant) goes back to the 19th Century. Had a lot to do with colonialism.

    Not really.

    They’ve always been behind the west. Russia was one of the last countries to abolish serfdom.

    And don’t forget the horrors of totalitarian communism. Stalin and the Gulags. The famines that killed millions.

    And it’s not like the US was all that better within my lifetime.

    That is unfortunately true. Racial discrimination, Vietnam, Iraq, misogyny. We at least, occasionally make efforts to fix our problems. These days opposed by the GOP and the fundie xians.

  15. 15
    Raging Bee

    Actually, the observable reality of barbaric Russian regimes goes back a lot further than the 19th century, and it has NOTHING AT ALL to do with “colonialism.”

    And yes, for all our obvious faults, the US was indeed, and still is, a lot better in this lifetime (which of course says more about Russia than it does about us).

  16. 16
    robertbaden

    If you were white, maybe…….

  17. 17
    Michael Heath

    The common thread running through Russian history is authoritarianism, and their cultural embrace of such.

  18. 18
    colnago80

    Hey, the Tsars were just as bad. Ivan the Terrible perchance.

  19. 19
    Nick Gotts
    You really don’t see the irony in meeting one kind of bigotry with another, do you, raven? – me@6

    Neither do you.

    Why don’t you find someone else to troll? – raven@9

    Pointing out your bigotry is not trolling, nor is it bigotry. I invite you to cite any evidence you can of the bigotry you claim I have displayed.

  20. 20
    davroslives

    I think that a significant portion is a “fuck the West” attitude. Russia has always been teetering on the border between East and West, and has never been able to shake off the authoritarianism current that runs through their last 1000 years of governance (except for the six months or so between the revolutions).

    I know that I’m generalizing, but it seems that politically, Russia just likes to piss off the West. Obviously the larger driving force is the current empowerment of the right wing religious movement, but I’m sure there’s a bit of spite involved. If you watch recent Russian films, there is often an undercurrent of anti-Western resentment (especially concerning the horrible state of their economy after the fall of communism)

  21. 21
    pveljko

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Why is it, I wonder, that certain types of bigotry are permitted? I mean, if I were to say that homosexuals are, say, untrustworthy or child-corrupting or licentious I would be–rightly–censured, because, by saying that, I fail to recognize their humanity. I reduce them to a hurtful stereotype, and thus, dehumanize them. Fair enough.

    But people here can merrily claim that there is something inherently foul about the Russians, that they follow like sheep, that they are inclined to authoritarianism, that they are incapable of civilization. Good grief, people, listen to yourselves. Are those the words of enlightened humans?

    Further, I presume most of you are Americans, yes? If that is, indeed, the case, do you think whole peoples ought to be judged by how their governments act? Is that the path you wish to go down? Because then someone might–using the same justifications–say that Americans are very poor at civilization, too, what with the genocide, the fact that they couldn’t get rid of slavery without fighting a war, or that they are now know for extralegal executions-by-predator-drone, torture, and constant surveillance.

    It’s wrong to paint Americans by such a broad brush, and equally wrong to do it to the Russians too.

    As for the root cause of the actions of the Russian government, I wager that Putin isn’t especially anti-gay. However, for all that he’s called a tyrant, he still has to win elections, and to do that he has been forced to cozy up to the Orthodox Church and its coterie of zealous anti-human lunatics. Same as any church, really. It’s especially bad in Russia because of much greater homogeneity. In America even if the government went insane tomorrow and decided to set up a state religion, the question of which sect would result either in war or in the establishment of an Anglican-esque diluted Christianity. In Russia, on the other hand, almost all of the population is Christian (about the same as in the ‘States, actually) and almost all of those Christians are Orthodox. As a result there is a concentration of power in one (medieval, corrupt, fairly evil) organization which identifies strongly with a very specific nation. A very bad idea if you like the separation of church and state. The welfare of gay people, then, is likely just a bone Putin’s throwing a (rabid) portion of his base. How many more such bones are to follow is uncertain.

  22. 22
    Raging Bee

    …do you think whole peoples ought to be judged by how their governments act?

    I think GOVERNMENTS ought to be judged by how they act. And to a certain extent, the “national character” of a people can be judged by (among other things of course) what sort of governments we see them supporting over a period of centuries.

    It’s wrong to paint Americans by such a broad brush, and equally wrong to do it to the Russians too.

    Yeah, but guess what — we Americans, as a people, ARE being judged by the actions of the governments we’ve been electing since 2000. It totally sucks, we don’t think it’s all that fair, but instead of getting all whiny and defensive about it, like you’re doing, we accept such judgement as a consequence of certain policies…and then direct our criticism toward those policies, not toward other critics of the same policies.

    So I’m giving you the same advice I give to US Southerners who cry about all those negative stereotypes of Southerners: instead of attacking the critics, attack whoever/whatever is reinforcing the stereotypes.

  23. 23
    Raging Bee

    I think that a significant portion is a “fuck the West” attitude.

    From the history I’ve had, I think it’s more an “ours is better” attitude. There’s been, for centuries, an ongoing tension between “Westernizers” and “Slavophiles;” the former wanting to import West-European innovations like secular government, democracy, constitutionalism, hi-tech capitalism, that whole Enlightemnent thing, etc.; and the latter insisting on some form of Russian exceptionalism where Russians are believed to have some special way of doing things that works better for Russians than anything else. (The most recent example of a Slavophile I can think of is Solzhenitsyn.)

    And as a result of this irreconcilable (so far) difference, there’s two forces driving brutal tyrannical regimes in Russia: xenophobic Slavophiles resisting all forms of advancement, and Westernizers who resort to brutal totalitarianism to force Russians to accept necessary advancements because they almost never vote for it when given a chance.

  24. 24
    pveljko

    Raging Bee @ 22

    I’m not getting defensive. I’m not Russian. I’m just appalled at bigotry, is all, and astounded that certain forms of it seem socially acceptable. And your advice–leave the bigots alone, and attack the people making the stereotype true–would be considered scandalous if given to some other maligned group. Oh, homosexuals should stop whining about being persecuted and instead fight all those insert-hurtful-stereotype-here in their own ranks. Do you see how insane that sounds?

    The Russian people are hostages to their political system–in the same way Americans are–but they aren’t bad. They aren’t good, either. They are just human and as capable or incapable of civilization and enlightenment as any other humans. Insofar as they have chosen poorly when electing their leaders is explained less by calling upon some imagined Russian propensity towards authoritarian evil, and more by a combination of poor choice, desperate need for safety, and plain-old ignorance. Not that there aren’t poisonous bastards among them, of course they are, but this is not representative of the Russian ‘character’ (insofar as such a thing exists) than Glenn Beck is of the American ‘character.’

    To criticize based on political, philosophical, or religious allegiance is reasonable–those are all opinions, held more-or-less freely. Ideally you might, with a well-marshaled argument, change a mind or two. But to ascribe faults to ethnicity (or races, or sexes/sexuals identities, or sexual orientations) that is always wrong. Always. If it is wrong for one people, it is wrong for them all. The fact that the people you’ve elected to be bigoted about aren’t traditionally thought of as victims–twelve million dead in the Holocaust notwithstanding–changes nothing.

  25. 25
    jba55

    21: “if I were to say that homosexuals are, say, untrustworthy or child-corrupting or licentious I would be–rightly–censured”

    Censured by who? Ed doesn’t ban just for being a bigot, the government doesn’t really care what goes on on blogs, who would be doing this? Or do you mean criticized? Because that’s not the same thing. And to reinforce a previously made and valid point, the OP isn’t saying “all Russians are bigots” he’s saying “the Russian government is passing bigoted laws”. Which they are. Or were you referring to a specific commenter? If so, who?

  26. 26
    pveljko

    jba @25

    Not censored, censured. To censure means to express extreme disapproval, opprobrium. To criticize, in fact. So it is, roughly, the same thing.

    And I am referring to posts such as the second one, by raven which says that “The Russians have never quite gotten the idea of civilization.” That one’s the most noticeably bigoted. But others have joined in, in whole or in part, like comments #15, #17, and #18, say. And raven doubled down with comment #14.

    That people are outraged by the actions of the Russian government, this I understand. I even understand that some of this outrage would spill over into what seems like bigotry. I’ve seen it happen enough when something terrible the American government has done is on the menu, as it were. But the extent of it seems puzzling to me, as does the reaction to my complaint.

  27. 27
    steve84

    They are using the fraudulent Regnerus “study” to support this nonsense.

    By the way, the US isn’t that far removed from such barbarism. Before Lawrence v Texas it was fairly common for American courts to use anti-sodomy laws an excuse to deny gay parents custody of their children. Bottoms v Bottoms is an infamous case in Virginia about that, where the mother was interrogated at length about her sex life. And in 2002 (just over ten years ago) Ten Commandments judge and theocrat Roy Moore voted not only to take a away custody from a lesbian mother, but also said that the state has the right to execute her.

  28. 28
    jba55

    @26: My bad, misread the word, apologies. As for Raven and colnago, well they have both defintely displayed bigotry on more than one occasion and frankly I don’t read their comments anymore. I certainly won’t defend them and I doubt many other commenters would either, although I could be wrong. I don’t see Raging Bee or Michael Heath’s comments as bigotry, but that’s just my interpretation. Are you claiming that Russia hasn’t had more than it’s share of authoritarian, violent governments? I would think that even just the communist regimes of the 20th century would justify the claim.

  29. 29
    pveljko

    @28

    Russia had its fare share of horrible governments, true, but what of it? Historically, most governments were absolutely terrible. What most of Europe got up to during the era of colonization, for instance, was unutterably terrible. Even the beginning of the twentieth century is fairly grim for most of the great powers. Poison gas attacks, atrocities of every imaginable sort. Use of weapons of mass destruction on civilians and prisoners of war. Fairly terrible. But, yes, Stalin was a horrible horrible man. No question about that. And the latter communist regime was not led by particularly nice people, either.

    I have no idea what sort of calculus of atrocity to use to measure this, but for the sake of argument (or not having one, really) I’m prepared to agree that Russia had a moderately above average number of authoritarian and violent regimes. Not as bad as it is frequently presented–Russia isn’t Mordor with snow, bears, and furry hats–but fairly rough. Okay.

    My problem isn’t with acknowledging this. My problem is that I reject the notion that this is the result of some subhuman quality in the Russian people. That authoritarianism and violence are part and parcel of the Russian identity. This is bigotry and bigotry all the more pernicious for being bigotry presented as aid to the oppressed, viz. the beleaguered LGBT community of Russia.

  30. 30
    jba55

    “I reject the notion that this is the result of some subhuman quality in the Russian people”

    I completely agree. The problem isn’t with the people, it’s that the country has, for one reason or another, gotten the sticky end of the stick with government in the past century and a half or so. Although I admit I don’t know enough history to say it with tons of confidence and it certainly isn’t the only country to be that way. I would say that countries that are either communist or are historically communist seem to have it rougher than average, although I don’t know exactly what to take from that.

  31. 31
    Nick Gotts

    The problem isn’t with the people, it’s that the country has, for one reason or another, gotten the sticky end of the stick with government in the past century and a half or so.

    It goes back a lot further than that, and has a lot to do with the country’s long history of devastating invasions, but just in the last century, there was catastrophic defeat in WWI, which triggered the Bolshevik seizure of power and a brutal civil war; the horrors of Stalin’s rule; the Nazi invasion causing some 20,000,000 deaths; then the Cold War (in which, contrary to right-wing myth, the USSR was always much the weaker side); and the disastrous 1990s switch to kleptocracy, which slashed life expectancy and caused an epidemic of alcoholism. None of that excuses the bigotry, of course, but trauma on that scale damages societies in ways that take a long time to mend.

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site