In case you missed all the coverage on Russia’s anti-gay pogrom, and the homophobic new laws enabling it (most of which have been prompted by and lobbied for by American radical anti-gay extremist groups), there’s a little bit of good news coming out of Russia.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Russian Duma member Alexei Zhuravlyev withdrew his bill which would’ve made it legal for the Russian government to seize the children of gay and lesbian parents, for no other reason than the fact that the parents are gay.
Those children, estimated in Russia to be between 2.3 million and 3.3 million, would be made orphans as soon as the government got around to, well, rounding them all up.
Russia’s orphanage system has a long standing reputation as being absolutely awful. ‘Filth-ridden warehouses for unwanted children’ was one description I read some years back.
When asked in an earlier interview whether he favored taking a child away from a single mother who happened to be gay, Zhuravlev said:
“Of course she should definitely be deprived of her rights to the child. Homosexuals must not raise children. They corrupt them. They do them much more harm than if the child were in an orphanage. I am deeply convinced of this.”
A spokesman for the Russian parliament said on Saturday that the bill had been withdrawn, but there was no explanation as to why. When asked for comment, Zhuravlev said his opinions hadn’t changed.
The downside is unfortunately Zhuravlev has said he plans to ‘revise’ and reintroduce the bill at a later date. It’s entirely possible that Russian president Vladimir Putin has come to his senses and realized that it’s not exactly good PR to be seen cracking down on gay and trans people right before Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Though that simply means that Russia will continue its regularly-schedule hate after the Winter Games.
Honestly, if I lived in Russia right now and especially if I had a child, I’d be scrambling to try to emigrate as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, in a semi-related story, the head of the lead religious right group fighting marriage equality, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Brian Brown, once again tries to downplay his involvement in Russian anti-gay politics, by avoiding publicity for his frequent visits to Moscow.
According to Miranda Blue of RightWingWatch, she believes Brown’s trip was related to upcoming plans for the anti-gay, anti-woman hate group, the World Congress of Families, to hold their annual convention in Russia in 2014.