A first vote later in the month of January on new legislation in Russia could create a law that makes homosexuality illegal. For example, a public kiss between same-sex couples could be illegal and deemed “homosexual propaganda” that would come with a fine of no more than $16,000, according to The Associated Press.
The legislation is being supported by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church. If the legislation becomes law, it would be illegal to give minors information that is defined as “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism.” The ban would even include bans on public events that support gay rights.
Cities in Russia began enacting anti-gay laws back in 2006 and just one person has been prosecuted so far under such a law. A gay rights campaign supporter, Nikolai Alexeyev, was fined $160 after protesting in St. Petersburg this past summer.
A lawsuit was dismissed by a court in St. Petersburg back in November that was filed by the Trade Union of Russian Citizens against Madonna. The group claimed that when Madonna spoke in support of gay rights during a concert recently that she was using “propaganda of perversion.” The group was asking for $10.7 million.
“Until this scum gets off of Russian land, I fully share the views of those who are trying to purge our motherland of it,” Rev. Sergiy Rybko was quoted as saying by the Orthodoxy and World online magazine. “We either become a tolerant Western state where everything is allowed — and lose our Christianity and moral foundations — or we will be a Christian people who live in our God-protected land in purity and godliness.”
Gays do not feel secure in most areas of Russia, especially in Moscow. One resident, Bagaudin Abduljalilov, said that some gays have had their hands cut off and have been beaten for bringing shame on their families. Sometimes they are even beaten by their own family members.
“You don’t have any human rights down there,” he said. “Anything can be done to you with impunity.”
Prior to his move to Moscow, Abduljalilov left his Islam religion to become a Protestant Christian. He wound up being expelled from a seminary when he told the dean he was gay. When he lived in Dagestan, he had trouble acquiring a job as a television journalist because of discrimination.
“I love Russia, but I want another Russia,” said Abduljalilov, 30, who now works as a clerk. “It’s a pity I can’t spend my life on creative projects instead of banging my head against the wall and repeating, ‘I’m normal, I’m normal.’ “