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Mar 31 2014

Russia’s Anti-Gay Law and Population

Neil Munro seems to be rather unhappy that the Obama administration is pressuring Uganda, Russia and other countries to stop violating the human rights of LGBT people, dismissing it as “hard-edged effort to punish countries that disagree with its gay rights agenda.” I’ll take dishonest spin for $1000, Alex. And he offers this rather weird excuse for Russia’s policy:

The cuts are part of an ambitious foreign policy effort to rapidly elevate the status of gays in Africa and in other continents.

For example, shortly before the Russian government decided to seize the Crimea, Obama repeatedly urged the Russian parliament to reverse its popular law barring advocacy of Western-style gay rights.

“Nobody’s more offended than me about some of the anti-gay and lesbian legislation that you’ve been seeing in Russia,” Obama said.

The Russian law was intended to boost Russia’s shrinking population, which is expected to drop from roughly 140 million to 120 million by 2050. In contrast, the populations of China and the Muslim countries to Russia’s East and South are rising.

Really? Was that the intention? Because all they keep talking about, highly dishonestly I might add, is “protecting the children.” And please explain how throwing gay people in jail could possibly reverse the Russian population decline. Is the Russian government or Neil Munro really irrational enough to believe that if they just put enough gay people in jail, straight people will start feverishly pumping out at least 20 million more babies to stabilize the population? Or that gay people are going to just give up on being gay, get married and start reproducing like bunny rabbits? Seriously, what kind of argument could one possibly construct for such a moronic claim?

22 comments

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  1. 1
    smrnda

    The reason for the population decline in Russia is that, regardless of the political/economic system, the country can’t seem to maintain first-world status. I doubt that the population is down because some gay people aren’t having kids, and no amount of pissing and shitting on gay people will make them rush out, become heterosexual and have a mess of kids.

    The whole anti-gay thing is typical scapegoating by a government that can’t deliver a decent standard of living.

  2. 2
    dhall

    Of course, the decline of the human population in Russia couldn’t be a consequence of multiple failures in its health care system, economic structure, social support systems, physical environment (infrastructure, diet, etc.) or even general quality of life issues with roots reaching back half a century or so. Nah. It’s all the fault of gay people.

  3. 3
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Population decline?

    Given the fact that too many humans is the root cause of ahelluava lot of environmental and social problems (economic too prob’ly tho’ economist tend to live in fantasy land about infinite growth bein’ good’n’all)

    I think a decline in human population is actually a rather positive thing.

    Call me a misanthrope if ya like but anything that reduces the number of people and especially voluntarily rather than through loss of life and suffering is pretty much a damn good thing.

    As for Obama elevating the status of gay human individuals anywhere on this globe from being considered acceptable fodder for hate crimes, persecution and murder – simply for bein’ the sexual equibivalent o’ left handers – well .. Can anyone but the very worst of shitstains really disagree wi’ tha’? Seriously?

  4. 4
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Obviously, the reasoning is that if you start suggesting that gay people should be treated like actual human beings, all the straight people who have secretly been itching to be gay but have been holding off because of societal disapproval will stop churning out offspring with their opposite-sex partners and start having glorious, baby-free gay sex instead.

    Which would make some sense if there were vast numbers of straight people itching to be gay.

  5. 5
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    ..And that’s even granting Neil Munro his “argument” such as it is.

  6. 6
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    As far as I remember from having watched the Stephen Fry documentary covering LGBT people around the world, the Russians seem to be under the delusion that if nobody mentions that homosexuality exists to children then they will always grow up to be straight. Thus the next Russian generation will contain nothing but straight people who will have babies.

  7. 7
    raven

    The Russian law was intended to boost Russia’s shrinking population, which is expected to drop from roughly 140 million to 120 million by 2050. In contrast, the populations of China and the Muslim countries to Russia’s East and South are rising.

    That is a problem for Russia long term. Even more serious, their Eastern Siberia colonization plan failed. Eastern SIberia had about 8 million people and 2 million have left.

    This was Chinese territory at one time and the Chinese have a solution to the depopulation trend. One that the Russians aren’t going to like at all.

  8. 8
    Scr... Archivist

    Russia’s population started growing again in 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8468185.stm

    The BBC also reported about a recent examination of Russian men’s drinking patterns.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/health-25961063

    The high number of early deaths in Russia is mainly due to people drinking too much alcohol, particularly vodka, research suggests. The study, in The Lancet, says 25% of Russian men die before they are 55, and most of the deaths are down to alcohol. The comparable UK figure is 7%. Causes of death include liver disease and alcohol poisoning. Many also die in accidents or after getting into fights.

    If they can get this end of things under better control, the Russian population will be able to grow faster without requiring more births.

  9. 9
    Modusoperandi

    “Mom, where do babies come from?”
    “Well, when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much, the State imprisons all the homos…”

  10. 10
    raven

    The Russian law was intended to boost Russia’s shrinking population, which is expected to drop from roughly 140 million to 120 million by 2050. In contrast, the populations of China and the Muslim countries to Russia’s East and South are rising.

    This isn’t true at all, of course. The law was just a tribalism tactic, hate as a motivator and group identifier. It could have been and has been capitalists, Kulaks, Nazis, Trotskyites, Checkens, Moslems, or Xians at one time or another.

    The birth rate in Russia right now is 1.4 children per family, they need 2.1 for stability. There are many ways to fix this.

    1. Immigration. That is what we do. The problem here is most likely that no one wants to move to Russia. Hard winters, racist, non-democratic, poor. Why bother when you can move to the UK or South America instead.

    2. The human birth rate is very flexible and responds to incentives. Both France and Australia were facing sharp falls in the birth rates. If you make it possible and worthwhile for people, especially women to have children, some will. It helps a lot if the society is functioning and seems to have a future.

    Of course, Russia’s traditional solution to problems like this doesn’t involve incentives. It usually involves armed men, thugs, prisons, show trials, and Gulag camps.

    Hmmm, I’m seeing Putin’s, the Eastern Orthodox church, and Russia’s next hate target. Women who won’t breed enough. I suppose the old Gulag compounds will work as day care centers.

  11. 11
    lordshipmayhem

    Is the Russian government or Neil Munro really irrational enough to believe that if they just put enough gay people in jail, straight people will start feverishly pumping out at least 20 million more babies to stabilize the population?

    Yes. Next question.

  12. 12
    cuervocuero

    I was under the impression declining populations correlated with access to contraception and education about same, and that uterus owners with personal control of contraception would be more inclined to not have kids in depressed economics situations.

    Russia doesn’t fit this idea?

  13. 13
    Scr... Archivist

    Raven @7,

    This was Chinese territory at one time and the Chinese have a solution to the depopulation trend. One that the Russians aren’t going to like at all.

    Looking into the geography and demographics of Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District, I noticed the flag of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast. Very interesting.

    I wonder if they have any trouble flying it.

  14. 14
    raven

    China Doesn’t Back Russia’s Invasion Of Crimea — And That’s A Big Problem For Putin

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Telegraph
    Mar. 27, 2014, 7:46 AM 15,627 47

    Mr Walden says the Chinese have never forgiven Russia for seizing East Siberia under the Tsars, the “lost territories”. They want their property back, and they are getting it back by ethnic resettlement across the Amur and the frontier regions, much as Mexico is retaking California and Texas by the Reconquista of migration.

    The population of far Eastern Siberia has collapsed to 6.3m from over 8 million twenty years ago, leaving ghost towns along the Trans-Siberian Railway. Russia has failed to make a go of its Eastern venture. With a national fertility rate of 1.4, chronic alcoholism, and a population expected to shrink by 30m to barely more than 110m by 2050 — according to UN demographers, not Mr Putin’s officials — the nation must inexorably recede towards its European bastion of Old Muscovy. The question is how fast, and how peacefully.

    Here is one view of Russia from the Torygraph. I’m not sure how reliable it is, but it has to be better than some of the other UK papers.

    1. Putin’s Russia does have problems. His solutions don’t look very good IMO. These days, trade and freedom, not wars of conquest, are the routes to prosperity.

    2. I don’t know who would want the Ukraine anyway. It’s a lot like Afghanistan. A failed nation. Economic basket case, factionalized, lots of neo-Nazis and ultranationalists, going nowhere. It’s going to cost someone a lot of money and right now, it could be Russia.

  15. 15
    thinkfree83

    @#8 Russia’s alcohol problem is very severe and has been that way for its entire modern history. A better way to increase the birthrate would be to improve the economic situation so couples actually feel confident about raising a child in Russian society and to do a major anti-drinking campaign to prevent premature alcohol-related deaths. But both of these solution require actually dealing with real problems, so I imagine it’s probably just easier to blame everything on an unpopular minority group or two.

  16. 16
    Modusoperandi

    The question remains: Why are the gays making Russians drink so much?

  17. 17
    dingojack

    Raven – “… Both France and Australia were facing sharp falls in the birth rates. …”
    Are you sure about that? Not between 1984 and 2009 they didn’t, according to the OECD.*.
    Dingo
    ——–
    * Gain (+ve) or decline (-ve) in number of children per women between 1984 and 2009
    (Selected countries).
    NZ: +0.21
    US: +0.20
    France: +0.18
    UK: +0.17
    Australia:+0.06
    OECD: -0.14
    Canada: +0.03
    Japan: -0.99
    Germany: -0.03
    India: -0.16
    China: -0.90
    Russian Federation: -0.50

  18. 18
    Synfandel

    The cuts are part of an ambitious foreign policy effort to rapidly elevate the status of gays in Africa and in other continents.

    This is true. The ambition is to see gays in Africa treated like human beings.

  19. 19
    raven

    Are you sure about that?

    Not really. I remember some countries were concerned about low birth rates and trying to think of ways to increase them. One was Australia.

    :blog.id.com.au/2011/australian-demographic-trends
    Is the baby bonus responsible for the high birth rate in Australia?
    Posted by Glenn – The Census Expert at 12:09 pm on May 17, 2011

    The increase in the Australian birth rate since 2002 is well documented, and was largely unexpected, as most of us expected the trend towards smaller families and more childless couples to continue for the foreseeable future, as has happened in places like Italy and Japan, which have rapidly ageing populations.

    The drop was actually in the mid to late 20th century.

    The Australian government was trying to get it up after it fell to 1.73. From the same article:

    The post-WWII baby boom is very evident, when the birth rate rose to about 3.5, as is the decline after the introduction of the contraceptive pill in 1961. The lowest over all fertility rate of 1.73 was recorded in 2001, then it rose to 1.97 in 2008, before dropping slightly in 2009. The last year in which total fertility was at a similar rate to 2009 was in 1977.

  20. 20
    raven

    Why French women are having more babies – News
    news. msn. com/world/why-french-women-are-having-more-babies‎

    Jun 12, 2013 – The policies also help women juggle their home life together with a career, Thévenon … The French fertility rate also surpassed that in the U.K., which bucked the downward trend to increase slightly to 1.96 from 1.9, and in the …

    France’s High Birth Rate Partly Due To Government Incentives …
    www. medicalnewstoday. com/releases/52654.php‎

    Rating: 3.8 – ‎16 votes
    Sep 27, 2006 – Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what …. According to APM, France has Europe’s second-highest birth rate in part … Monthly childcare allowances that increase with the number of children per family. … that what distinguishes France from other European countries is its …

    I’m not sure when France’s birthrate dropped. Probably in a similar pattern to the rest of the first world.

    They also went the route of providing incentives for larger families. Apparently with some success.

  21. 21
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Of course, the whole “Mother Russia needs babiez” narrative is somewhat disrupted by Russia’s >500,000 children living in orphanages. It’s not children that Russia lacks, but parents, a problem that can’t be fixed by gay-bashing but only by boring ole hard work on living standards and public health issues.

  22. 22
    dingojack

    Whilst trying to find information on the Intertubez, I found this. Note Figure 2.4–Postwar Trends in Total Period Fertility Rate in Russia Against the Background of Different Groups of Countries, 1945-1993.
    Dingo

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