As Russian government just hit a new low in its systematic persecution of Russian LGBT citizens, Moscovites just hit a new low in its violent homophobia.
The State Duma passed a notorious bill today that would punish any person or media company making information about the gay, bisexual and transgender community accessible to minors. That means that virtually any public mention of GAY will be punished under law as illegal “distribution of propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” and “relations not conducive to procreation.” Duma approved the Kremlin-backed legislation in a 436-0 vote, minus one supposed rights supporter who heroically abstained from voting.
As every illegal pride march in Russia – and every pride march is illegal — the peaceful demonstration and “kiss in” in front of the State Duma ended in blood. Twelve gay rights activists were arrested before Duma even voted, and later, hundreds of little pro-Kremlin youth group thugs and state-legitimized Orthodox Christian extremists violently attacked the peaceful protestors.
Riot police swooped in to roughly detain two dozen protestors; almost all of them were gay rights activists. Escaped activists were beaten severely by masked men a mile away, out in the open, on a central street.
Photographer Ilya Varlamov was on the scene. His photographs show gay rights protestors being dragged off by cops, chased through the subway, pelleted with eggs and threatened by the omnipresent Orthodox Banner Bearers, Russia’s frightening answer to our Westboro cult.
Though these thugs have been present at every major demonstration, especially those relating to imprisoned political artists of Pussy Riot, their main agenda is homophobia and waving around hateful banners and hatchets while dressing as half-bikers half-priests. It appears that the Banner Bearers have appointed themselves as the flamboyant henchmen of the incestuous, oppressive church-and-state alliance. Today, they played catalyst to much of the violence.
In one of the most troubling incidents reported by Varlamov, a group of very young boys chase one gay rights protestor into the park and beating him viciously, while photojournalists swarm for a money shot. He was left bleeding. The kids were left lightly scolded, Varlamov explains, not for hatefully attacking another human being but for outnumbering him.
Here’s your fucking money shot.
NPR has a sobering run down of Russia’s anti-gay policies: Though Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, homophobia is rampant. Lawmakers are attempting to ban adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples worldwide.
Recently, on a talk show, a high-ranking appointee of a Kremlin-run television network stated that gays should not be eligible as organ donors and that after they die, their hearts should be burned. Psychotically medieval sentiments like these, ignored and propagated by government officials and their lackeys, are said to have fueled a recent wave of hate crimes.
Several hate crimes ended in violent murder.
(Photos: Ilya Varlamov/LiveJournal)