The following is the executive summary of an extensive analysis of the “anti-Gay” laws so much in the news in the run up to the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. The author of the report (who is openly gay) is keen for it to reach a wide audience. The full white paper is over 100 pages and extensively documented and footnoted. This summary will give you a flavour of it.
It may challenge some of the things you’ve seen reported in the main stream media. It certainly surprised me.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Russia’s Anti-Gay Law & LGBT Rights
1. The law never mentions or uses the word gay, lesbian, homosexual or any other LGBT identifier. [Chapter 2 & Appendix]
2. The law focuses on children, it’s title is “On Protections of Minors from Propaganda of Non-Traditional Sexual Relations”. The messaging and strategy to bring the ban on propaganda from the law of several regions to national laws is part of a larger family values push and is based on the successful anti-same sex marriage push in the United States. [Chapter 2]
3. Russia is actually expanding protections of members of the LGBT community: On September 20, 2013 the official delegation of the Russia Federation announced their willingness to take all required measures to prevent homophobic hate crimes and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation at the 24th UN Human Rights Council. [Chapter 2]
4. There have been regional (much harsher) versions of the propaganda ban in effect for 7 years and there were only 2 convictions for violations of the regional laws and both were overturned. [Chapter 3]
5. In 6 months of the Federal Law there have been 3 convictions: 2 were acts of civil disobedience to challenge the legality of the law, the other is a story which you must read. [Chapter 3]
6. Statistically you are far more likely to be the victim of an anti-LGBT Hate Crime in the United States than in Russia. [Chapter 4]
7. In Russia you cannot be fired from your job for being an LGBT individual, in the United States you can. [Chapter 4]
8. Since 1993 gay sex was made legal in Russia, in 12 US States gay sex is a crime. [Chapter 4]
9. While President Obama says
“I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”
his policies demonstrate he has nothing but patience. [Chapter 5]
10. The group impacted most if found to be inviolation of the law: Multinational corporations. [Chapter 6]