The Russian government warned a popular Russian TV channel today that it was violating Russia’s draconian new anti-gay “propaganda” law by showing an award-winning French film that includes a few same-sex love scenes, including at least one three-some. The government reportedly told the channel that “the film contains ‘propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.'”
The film is called “Les Chansons d’Amour,” aka “Love Songs,” and it was selected as one of twenty films for the main competition at Cannes in 2007, and won an award in 2008.
The Hollywood Reporter says that this is the first time that a television channel has been threatened with the anti-gay law.
Ironically, Russian President Vladimir Putin just penned an op ed in the New York Times claiming that Russia was a big fan of both international law and the notion that “God created us equal.”
Of course, as I note in my earlier article, Vladimir Putin is only a fan of international law and equality when it comes to protecting his genocidal mass-murdering dictatorial client states. When it comes to gay and trans Russians – or the more general notions of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, or human rights – Putin’s NYT op ed is followed by an asterisked “never mind.”
In fact, the anti-gay law that Putin’s government is now using to threaten the TV station is itself a violation of international law:
Russia has recently received criticism from around the world and across the international community for enacting a law that bans the distribution of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. Under the Russian statute, it is a criminal act to hold any sort of public demonstration in favour of gay rights, speak in defense of gay rights or distribute material related to gay rights, or to state that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships.
International human rights organisations and the governments of developed democracies have condemned the Russian law. The United Nations and European regional institutions have called for it to be repealed, making clear that the Russian law in question as well as other infringements of LGBT rights in the country are a direct violation of international human rights law, including the right of children to receive proper information, and of Russia’s international obligations.
The Council of Europe has called on Russia to protect LGBT rights fully, the European Court of Human Rights has fined Russia for infringements of LGBT rights, and the UN Human Rights Committee has ruled that the Russian gay “propaganda ban” in question is inadmissible under international law.
Ironically, a now-fallen former gay rights advocate in Russia recently told a Kremlin propaganda network that the anti-gay law would never be used in practice. In the few weeks since he made that incredible comment the law has now been invoked twice, the first time against a 24 year old young man who staged a one-man protest for human rights.
Here’s the official trailer for Les Chanson d’Amour, which interestingly, as an aside, seems to exclude the boy-boy aspects of the story, while having no problem showing the girl-on-girl – though fortunately Chris Geidner found a few additional videos, one of which follow the trailer below: