Russian church demands vote on banning all the gays

You think that’s a joke? Satire? Hyperbole?

It’s not.

Gay Star News quotes AFP:

 ‘There is no question that society should discuss this issue since we live in a democracy,” [Church spokesman] Chaplin told pro-government Izvestia daily.

‘For this reason, it is precisely the majority of our people and not some outside powers that should decide what should be a criminal offence and what should not.’ he said.

Chaplin said he was ‘convinced’ homosexuality should be ‘completely excluded from the life of our society’.

Christopher Stroop has more at Religion Dispatches:

There are few bright spots in LGBT issues in Russia today. A recent media hubbub over the (as yet remote) possibility of recriminalizing “sodomy” may in fact be an indicator that things are getting even worse. The most recent buzz began when entertainer and anti-gay provocateur Ivan Okhlobystin published an open letter to Putin calling for the question of sodomy laws to be put to referendum.

That’s the guy Masha Gessen fired as a columnist, but without telling him that it was because “certain opinions simply will not be accepted”…like ones calling for people like her to be burned alive. He’s one of the reasons she and her partner and adopted child fled Russia for the US.

Back to Religion Dispatches:

As Global Voices Online’s Kevin Rothrock has pointed out, many in the liberal Russian blogosphere had until recently tended to regard Okhlobystin as only a charlatan and provocateur making outlandish statements as a form of performance art. His recent actions, however, are causing some of them to change their views and to see the man as a genuine fascist. It says something about the state of the ROC that leading hierarchs are willing to associate themselves with the likes of Okhlobystin and other radical conservatives.

Chaplin, who, as Chairman of the Synodal Committee on Church-Society Relations functions in many respects as the public face of official Orthodoxy, exhibits a pattern of such behavior. He has praised the radical Orthodox activist known as Dmitry Enteo, for example, and even joined with Enteo in a prayer service for the passage of laws against abortion, ‘propaganda of homosexuality,’ and blasphemy.

Chaplin’s is a prominent voice among Orthodox Russians, and the message he consistently sends is that the absolute worst, most violent and oppressive elements and tendencies within Russian Orthodoxy, even when their demands go beyond what the (hardly liberal) Russian state will countenance, have the moral high ground.

It’s frightening.


  1. rnilsson says

    It’s Russia. It’s tragic. It’s not much new.
    With a different Chaplin it might have been comedy, but that one just made fun of the original Hilter: “Der Führer is a little ho(a)rse”.
    The only comedian I know who could ever pick up that baton would be Charlie Häckner, the one-man annual vaudeville organizer and magician of Göteborg and Berlin, but he is just much too nice. Hokipokipoki – like I mean it!!!

  2. cuervodecuero says

    Well, of course they’re demanding a vote. They now have laws available that mean anyone mounting a campaign to vote no to banning gays would be ‘promoting a homosexual’ lifestyle where children and other ‘innocents’ could see it. Handy that.

    The Olympics are looking more and more 1936ish. I pity the Russian athletes in the closet. The big question looming on the horizon is how many other nations will refuse or accept refugees on the grounds of sexuality when there are precedents that refugees aren’t visibly gay *enough* to suit deportation hearings.

  3. rnilsson says

    The Olympics are looking more and more 1936ish. I pity the Russian athletes in the closet.

    I pity the Russians, period. (As well as anyone within the ‘sphere of interest’.) Parallels are going asymptotic.
    Sometimes I am very glad to be completely disinterested in any sports at all*. N-dopey.

    1 question: Would World-Wide-Mormons be eligible to vote? Not to re-Godwin, but that might tip the scales.

    * Except maybe if there’s one where I could win 😉 (Checkers, tic-tac-toe? Solved. Bridge? Burnt. Golf? Only to make new holes. Boxing? hhrhuh? Precision parachuting? Thudd.dd.)

  4. quixote says

    Ethnically I’m half Russian, and it was my first language. I’m familiar enough with the culture to know that it’s in a very different mental and emotional space than post-Enlightenment Europe.

    But that’s no reason to stay there when it’s taking you straight down to pogroms against new victims.

    As for offering asylum, everybody who cares about human rights should be doing it. Likewise women suffering abuse, apartheid, torture, slavery, and the threat of death in the gender wars must be equally recognized as persecuted on the grounds of sexuality.

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