Inside the Clusterfuck: Russia Accuses EU of “Aggressive Propaganda of Homosexual Love” and Why That’s Crazy

January 17, 2014 | Marina Galperina

After the European Union criticized Russia for censoring the press and tenaciously jailing Kremlin opposition, the Russian foreign ministry retaliated with a report of their own, highlighting EU’s own “inadequacies.” It’s hilarious.

As highlighted by Buzzfeed, the report (sloppily translated here) is full of double-speak and contradictions and accuses the European Union of “aggressive propaganda of homosexual love.”

In re-translation:

Despite the aggressive propaganda of homosexual love within the EU and its unbridled criticism for the alleged rights violations of sexual minorities in the Third World, it would be wrong to believe that Germany’s government is devoid of discrimination and its society is completely tolerant. Cautious and negative attitude towards the representatives of the LGBT-society, including homophobia, is widely spread through German society…

Then, the report cites statistics gathered by German LGBT organizations: There were 474 homophobia-motivated incidents in 2010.

What the report fails to mention that Russia doesn’t have those statistics because LGBT groups that would gather them are illegal under the “anti-gay propaganda bill” signed into law in the summer of 2013, making any public statement of the existence and normality of LGBT people a crime punishable by fines and jail time. It was celebrated by hundreds of homophobic extremists beating the shit out of a small group of peaceful protestors outside the Duma.

Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

There are organizations that exist, for now. “They define themselves as human rights organizations that promote equal rights and respect for human dignity regardless of orientation and gender,” Russian-Speaking American LGBT Association’s Nina Long tells ANIMAL. “They are registered. They exist. But according to a new publication of explaining what propaganda is, they should be all fined, and suspended.”

The “anti-gay propaganda bill” seemed vague and inconsistent. But, according to the Russian government’s recently-published “Criteria of Internet Content Harmful for Children’s Health and Development” (pdf), the following is considered illegal propaganda (translated, verbatim):

Information that disagrees with family values, propagating nontraditional sexual relations and formulating a lack of respect for parents and other family members.

Information from manipulated facts and statistics that could discredit the traditional model for family relations and propagate alternative models of family relations, presenting them as acceptable in certain circumstances.

Information (images and text) that justify and/or excuse acceptance of alternative family relations. For example, many sites propagate nontraditional relations, give statistics about adoption of children by homosexual and heterosexual partners. Removed from the broad context, this information might lead children or teenagers to believe that homosexual couples are no worse at coping with parental responsibilities.

Can you imagine! Children and teenagers might see actual statistics and images — without the “broad context” of homophobia — and grow up believing that homosexuals are capable of raising children and that being gay is acceptable! The horror!

 “At school, they say the law exists so there won’t be any more people like me.” Children 404, illegal teen support group

“Basically, if an LGBT organization in Russia makes statistics accessible to the public on the internet, and thus accessible to minors, statistics proving that kids who grew up in LGBT families are perfectly normal and adjusted and happy, they can get fined for breaking the law,” Nina Long explains.

The government is effectively suppressing reality that contradicts with their version of it and destroying anyone who disseminates doubt in their fairy tale.

“Fines for organizations are very significant: $30,000 and a 90-day suspension. If, then, that organization keeps the statistics published, it can be fined and suspended perpetually. LGBT organizations in Russia operate in fear and uncertainty. This is outrageous and makes work of all Human Rights groups difficult and jeopardizes work of HIV prevention organization.” Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry’s report specifically criticized Germany for not doing enough to prevent HIV. The spread of the HIV virus surged dramatically last year.

In September of 2013, the nongovernmental sociological research center Sova officially reported that any homophobic and xenophobic violence is on the rise. Any previously recorded improvement has “exhausted itself.”  In fact, perpetrators are adapting new and more effective tactics in mobilizing to harass and torture gay people.

According to “official” statistics, there were 12 homophobic attacks in Russia last year, but even the government-controlled media-mouthpiece Russia Today points out: “Sova Center says such numbers are almost meaningless, as assaults are rarely reported, and almost never recorded as hate crime incidents.”

So, nice burn, Kremlin. Russia has significantly less reported homophobic attacks in 2013 than Germany had in 2010 — since Kremlin made reporting these crimes de facto illegal.

But it happens. All the time. The fact that the perpetrators of homophobic violence feel justified by the Russian laws is evident and demonstrated.

When protestor Kirill Kalugin stood in a public square with the rainbow banner  “I’m propagating tolerance,” he was surrounded, knocked to the ground and choked by a group of uniformed Airborne Armed Services members. As they were beating him, they were shouting “Call the police on him!” and “What the fuck were you thinking, showing up at Palace Square, faggot?” When the cops showed up to disengage the lynch mob, the enraged soldiers surrounded and pounded the car, screaming about injustice. In their eyes, they were much more justified in violently assaulting the peaceful protestor than he had in being all gay like that.

It’s obviously very dangerous for Russian gay people to be all gay like that. Solution? Don’t be so gay. Or at least, don’t ask, don’t tell, pretend you don’t exist and avoid being arrested, assaulted and murdered. Pro tip: Don’t be so aggressive in promoting tolerance!

…The European Union and its Member States make it a priority to disseminate its neoliberal values on the rest of the international community as a universal lifestyle. This is particularly evident in their aggressive promotion of the sexual minorities’ rights. Attempts have been made to enforce their foreign view on other countries — the view of homosexuality and same-sex marriages as a norm of life and some kind of a natural social phenomenon that deserves support at the government level.

When facts, statistics and images proving that the government is manipulating reality are banned as “propaganda,” absurd rhetoric like this is increasingly common.

No amount of verbose rebuttals will make Kremlin seem better by comparison — just psychotic.