Moscow Times: New Anti-Gay Law Rejected by Russian Duma Committee

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 18, 2016) The State Duma Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building has rejected a bill that would make it illegal to come out as gay in Russia, the Interfax news agency reported Monday. Dmitry Vyatkin, the deputy chairman of the committee said that the draft bill was rejected “primarily due to the fact […]

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Most Russians Want Homosexuals ‘Liquidated’ or Ostracized – Poll

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – October 12, 2015) More than half of Russians think that gay people should be either “liquidated” or isolated from society, according to a poll published Friday that showed a hardening of attitudes toward many minority groups in Russia in recent years. The survey by the Levada Center, an independent pollster, is the […]

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Interfax: Most Russians oppose same-sex marriage – poll

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Interfax – July 10, 2015) Less than a quarter of Russians believe sexual orientation is a person’s personal business and a majority oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage, a public opinion poll conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) shows. The poll, which surveys 1,600 people living in 130 populated areas of 46 regions of Russia, was conducted […]

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From Burning Hearts To Civil Unions: The Unlikely Evolution Of Dmitry Kiselyov

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – June 30, 2015) Somewhere around the 98th minute of his weekly news roundup and commentary for Russia’s Rossiya television channel this week, Dmitry Kiselyov got around to saying something truly unexpected. In his coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriages, the head of Rossia Segodnya, Russia’s massive state-controlled media conglomerate, came out in […]

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Russian reaction to same-sex marriage ruling in the USA

U.S. Supreme Court Facade

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Oleg Yegorov, special to RBTH – June 29, 2015) On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages were legal on the whole territory of the country. The ruling generated a strong reaction [in] Russia, with some conservative politicians slamming it, while some liberals voiced support for the U.S. and the global […]

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Interfax: Russia should get less aggressive towards sex minorities – senator

Federation Council file photo

(Interfax – June 28, 2015) Deputy chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Constitutional Legislation Konstantin Dobrynin has suggested that the American “don’t ask, don’t tell” principle be enshrined in the Russian law with respect to people of non-heterosexual orientation. One may laugh at America or a tolerant Europe for as long as one likes; it should be admitted, however, […]

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Interfax: Over 80% of Russians against same-sex marriages

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Interfax – May 18, 2015) The percentage of Russians who are positive about the law banning the propaganda of homosexuality is increasing and is now 77 percent against 67 percent in 2013, Levada Center told Interfax. Fifteen percent of the respondents do not support this law and 7 percent said they are not interested, a poll surveying 800 people conducted […]

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Magazine Pays Homage to Embattled Russian Activists With Global Thinkers List

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber- November 19, 2014) Two Russian rights advocates have been included on Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the top 100 leading global thinkers for their roles in raising contentious issues surrounding this year’s Sochi Olympic Games. LGBT rights defender Yelena Klimova and environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko were included in the “advocates” section of the […]

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Fire Sweeps Through Kiev’s Oldest Movie Theater During LGBT Movie

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 30, 2014) A fire has swept through the oldest movie theater in Ukraine’s capital Kiev during the showing of an LGBT movie, ravaging the building in what witnesses described as a likely arson attack. None of the 100 or so people who attended the screening Wednesday night appeared to have been […]

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‘Same-Sex Adoption’ Killed U.S.-Russian FLEX Exchange Program

FLEX Student Exchange Program Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 2, 2014) David Petrosyan had hoped his 15-year-old sister would spend a year studying at a U.S. high school, something he had done years earlier that had a lasting impact on his ambitious academic pursuits. “For me, doing a FLEX program proved that I can achieve something with my brain alone. It was […]

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RIA Novosti: Moscow gays to hold “bearded” march on 27 May to mark decriminalization

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

Moscow, 13 May: Moscow Gay Pride activists have notified the Moscow mayor’s office that they will stage a “Conchita Wurst Bearded Women and Men March”, the GayRussia.ru portal reports. “According to the submitted application, the event should take place on Tuesday 27 May, on the 21st anniversary of the decriminalization of consensual gay sex in Russia,” the report says. According […]

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Moscow Times: Approved Gay Event in Russia’s Far East Set to Test Tolerance

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – May 9, 2014) Gay rights activist Alexander Yermoshkin said Thursday that local authorities had approved his request to hold a public event against LGBT discrimination on May 17, a move that may see Russia’s controversial anti-gay propaganda law tested. Other gay rights activists, particularly Moscow’s Nikolai Alexeyev, have frequently complained of applications […]

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RIA Novosti: Poll Reveals Widespread Intolerance for Gays in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) – The vast majority of Russians find same-sex relationships unacceptable, according to a survey published Friday by a state-run pollster. VTsIOM found in its poll that lesbian couples were deemed inappropriate by 78 percent of respondents, with only 3 percent answering that relationships between two women were normal. Relationships between men were even more unpopular. […]

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NEWSLINK: Sochi Olympics – Tolstoy’s words ring true as Putin goes for Sochi gold

[“Olympics – Tolstoy’s words ring true as Putin goes for Sochi gold” – Reuters – Timothy Heritage – February 14, 2014 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/14/us-olympics-halfway-idUSBREA1D0VN20140214] Reuters covers the Sochi Olympics, commenting that at least some concerns voiced prior to the Olympics seemingly have been mitigated: For all the talk of war from Islamist militants before the Sochi Games started, the Russian organizers […]

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Experts Warn of Increase in Ethnically Motivated Attacks

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – February 14, 2014) Russia has seen an increase in violence motivated by ethnic hatred and physical attacks on the LGBT community in the past year, experts said Thursday. The topic has taken on a new sense of urgency in light of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda legislation and the ongoing street protests in neighboring […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Putin says Sochi visitors will see a new Russia

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, RBTH – January 20, 2014) Russia will welcome all participants and guests of the Sochi Olympics irrespective of their sexuality, President Vladimir Putin has said to domestic and foreign media President Vladimir Putin is promising that Sochi’s Olympic Games will be a success and the world will see what a great […]

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Russian Orthodox Deacon Fears Defrocking After Outing Church’s ‘Gay Lobby’

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Andrei Shary and Claire Bigg – January 9, 2014) A prominent theologian who claims to have outed a powerful “gay lobby” within the Russian Orthodox Church says he now fears being defrocked over his allegations. The allegations by Deacon Andrei Kurayev, a firebrand missionary who taught at the Orthodox Moscow Theological Academy, are potentially damaging and […]

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U.S. Ambassador Says No Boycott Of Sochi

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – December 17, 2013) U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has spoken of the current state of bilateral relations, the upcoming Sochi Olympics, and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine in a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with RFE/RL’s Russian Service. McFaul, speaking at RFE/RL’s Moscow Bureau, quashed rumors of a possible U.S. boycott of the Winter Olympics. He confirmed […]

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RIA Novosti: Obama to Skip Sochi Games in Apparent Snub Over Anti-Gay Law

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ US President Barack Obama dealt a sharp reprimand to Russia over its anti-gay laws on Tuesday by including two openly homosexual athletes in the official delegation to the Winter Olympics in Sochi and declining to attend the Games himself. The White House announced that Billie Jean King, a gay former tennis champion, and Caitlin […]

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Interfax: Moscow perplexed with U.S. demands for review of IOC opinion on Russian gay propaganda law

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Interfax – November 15, 2013) Moscow has called outrageous the U.S. senators’ demand that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) review its opinion on the Russian law banning homosexuality propaganda amongst minors. “We have paid attention to the letter sent by eleven U.S. senators to the International Olympic Committee president and their demand to review the official opinion of the IOC […]

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Interfax: Russia did not violate intl law by banning homosexuality propaganda among minors – children’s ombudsman

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Russia did not violate international law by imposing a ban on propaganda of homosexual relations among minors, Russian presidential children’s rights envoy Pavel Astakhov says. “Propaganda of homosexuality among children violates commonly accepted principles and norms of international law,” the envoy’s press service quoted him as saying at the international parliamentary forum on ‘Constitution. Democracy. […]

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Gays who decide to move abroad will have hard time – State Duma

EU Map

(Interfax – November 6, 2013) The State Duma has criticized the statement made by the Dutch foreign minister on the readiness of the Netherlands to provide asylum to Russian homosexuals. “Such statements are bad propaganda against the Russian Federation. I don’t see anything else in that,” Yelena Afanasyeva, deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on labor, social policy and […]

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Interfax: Russian Olympic Committee says gay hysteria over Sochi Games ‘whipped up’

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Interfax – Sochi, November 8, 2013) The Russian Olympic Committee thinks the scandal around the sportsmen of non-traditional sexual orientation is artificially whipped up, while the athletes themselves will be taken up with a competition, not political issues. “I think that is just the whipping up of the atmosphere around the Olympics on purpose; when the Games start, the athletes […]

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Putin Talks Syria, Gays and John McCain at Valdai

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – September 20, 2013) [View entire 3-hour event here http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-PtsodE-ZkY&feature=m-ch-fea] At the 10th-anniversary meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin lapped up praise for his recent New York Times op-ed on the Syria crisis and his “achievement” of averting a U.S. military strike. Putin addressed a wide array of […]

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RIA Novosti: U.S. Not to Boycott Sochi Olympic Games – Ambassador McFaul

Ambassador Michael McFaul file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 12, 2013) The United States will not boycott the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia in light of the recently adopted Russian legislation banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships toward minors, the US ambassador said Wednesday. US athletes should not fall victim to politics, Ambassador Michael McFaul told the Dozhd TV channel as Russia […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Is Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law alienating it from the West?

Duma Session file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yaroslava Kiryukhina, RBTH – September 10, 2013) In response to Russia’s recently adopted “anti-gay law,” people in cities all over the world are boycotting Russian vodka and talking of severing sister-city ties. Despite this criticism, which comes mainly from Western audiences, Russian lawmakers insist that the new legislation was created only to protect […]

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RIA Novosti – Sexual Orientation, Ethnicity Key for Russian National Identity – Poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – Howard Amos – MOSCOW, September 11, 2013) ­ Besides drunks, who do Russians not want most as neighbors or work colleagues? The answer: homosexuals, according to new research examining national identity released by a state-run pollster, the Russia Public Opinion Research Center, on Tuesday. According to the survey, 51 percent of Russians would not like “under any […]

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Anti-gay laws? Don’t take the bait

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan, Editor and Correspondent at themoscownews.com – September 6, 2013) With the international gay community up in arms over Russia’s so-called anti-gay laws – which don’t outlaw gays but only the promotion of their lifestyles – there’s a new bit of legislation that goes out of its way to crack down on homosexuality. Andrei […]

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Russia failing to test vulnerable groups for HIV

HIV Infection Microscopic Photo of Cells

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ivan Varentsov, public health expert with the Andrey Rylkov Foundation; special to RBTH – August 22, 2013) The country’s ineffective and conservative policy stymies efforts to stop the epidemic. The HIV epidemic is one of the most pressing public health problems in Russia today. According to the latest UNAIDS global report, Eastern Europe […]

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Understanding Russia’s perspective on “gay propaganda”

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Patrick Sewell, special to RBTH – August 14, 2013) Despite the now notorious “gay propaganda” bill, frustrated westerners would be wrong to view Russian society as innately homophobic. As much as I love Russia, I’ll be honest – I’ve seen some angry Russians in my time. There are a lot of half-baked stereotypes […]

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Russia’s ‘Traditional Values’ Lawmaker Faces Online Backlash

Russian Duma Building

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Dmitry Volchek – August 14, 2013) Russian investigators are pressing ahead with a controversial defamation probe following a complaint by Yelena Mizulina, a lawmaker best known for her crusade to promote what she considers “traditional values.” Mizulina, who heads the parliament’s committee on family, women and children, has authored a number of controversial initiatives over the […]

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Interfax: Russian deputy premier attempts to allay gay fears ahead of Sochi Olympics

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Interfax – August 7, 2013) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitriy Kozak has said that there can be no infringement of the rights of people of nontraditional sexual orientation during the Sochi Winter Olympics, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 7 August. “There will be no infringement of (the rights of) persons on the grounds of sexual orientation during the […]

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Moscow Dismisses Western Criticism of Gay Propaganda Law

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 7, 2013) ­ A senior Russian Foreign Ministry official on Wednesday deflected Western criticism of the so-called anti-gay law, saying the recently adopted legislation did not violate the rights of sexual minorities in the country but was aimed at protecting minors. “As to the criticism of our law banning homosexual propaganda we have to reiterate […]

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Western Activists Urge Vodka Boycotts, Visa Bans To Protest Russia’s Antigay Laws

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – July 29, 2013) Western lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists are ratcheting up the pressure on Russia over laws outlawing “gay propaganda.” Among the tactics: an online campaign to “dump Russian vodka” calls for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, while another campaign urges a visa ban […]

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Interfax: Recognition of same-sex marriages leads humanity to end of world – Patriarch Kirill

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW. July 22, 2013) Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill regards the recognition of same-sex marriages in Western countries an omen of the end of the world. “Lately we have been facing enormous temptations when in a number of countries the choice of sin is approved and justified by law, and those who do as their […]

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Poll shows Russians support bans on ‘gay propaganda’, hurting religious feelings

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

(Interfax – July 3, 2013) The recent laws criminalizing “propaganda” of homosexuality and actions aimed at hurting believers’ feelings have the support of the majority of Russians, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 3 July, quoting figures from the latest opinion poll carried out by Levada Centre. Figures on the center’s own website (http://www.levada.ru/) show that 16 per cent […]

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Moscow News: Why gay pride parades aren’t getting us very far in Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – Anna Arutunyan, Editor and Correspondent at themoscownews.com – July 1, 2013) This article contains information not suitable for readers younger than 18 years of age, according to Russian legislation. I have a very good friend who is convinced that being gay is a curable disease. Or, at least, he was convinced, until we spoke about it. During […]

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Putin Signs ‘Blasphemy’ and ‘Gay Propaganda’ Bills

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 1, 2013) President Vladimir Putin has signed the so-called “blasphemy bill” and the “gay propaganda bill” ­ two pieces of legislation that have outraged the liberal opposition. Both bills were passed unanimously by the State Duma on June 11, 2013, and their full texts appeared on the Kremlin’s site Sunday. The blasphemy law will […]

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The Big Chill: Critics Say Kremlin Waging A War On Ideas

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – July 1, 2013) It’s not a great time to be a freethinker in Russia. Offending somebody’s religious sensibilities could get you prosecuted according to legislation signed this weekend by President Vladimir Putin. Criticizing the wrong person with a snarky comment on a social network could run afoul of a vaguely worded law criminalizing […]

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Rainbow Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Sergey Khazov – June 18, 2013) Sergey Khazov is a New Times journalist and a writer based in Moscow. What is life like for gay men and women in Russia? Sergey Khazov looks at the country’s gay infrastructure, and discovers a very fragmented picture. Until a couple of years ago homosexuality was, if not a forbidden topic (it […]

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Russia’s human rights ombudsman warns against consequences of bill banning ‘gay propaganda’

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Interfax – June 11, 2013) Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin said that he feared “unwise” application of a bill banning propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations, which the Russian State Duma could pass in the the second and third readings on Tuesday. “The main issue will be the administration of the law. Cruel and unwise administration could lead to human […]

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Most Russians want ‘gay propaganda’ to be banned – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – June 11, 2013) Russians have become more intolerable to homosexuality over the past few years, and the share of opponents of same-sex marriages has grown, the VTSIOM pollster has reported. Eighty-eight percent of Russian citizens welcome the proposed ban on the propaganda of homosexuality, compared to 86 percent in 2012, and only 7 percent support it. “A relative […]

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Revised Russian ‘Gay Propaganda’ Ban To Be Put To Key Vote On 11 June

Russian Duma Building

(RIA Novosti – June 6, 2013) A controversial piece of Russian legislation banning the promotion of homosexuality among children has undergone significant changes since it won preliminary approval in January and is to be put to its key second reading in parliament on 11 June, Russian news agencies reported on 6 June, quoting senior MPs involved in pushing for the […]

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Russia Dwarfs West in Intolerance of Gays – Survey

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – WASHINGTON, June 5, 2013) ­ Russians are dramatically less tolerant of homosexuality than are people in eastern and western Europe or North America and that intolerance has risen rapidly in recent years, according to a new global survey by the US-based Pew Research Center. Of the 996 Russian adults surveyed over a two week period in March, […]

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Russian Church Will Never Accept Gay Marriages, Patriarch Says

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, May 21, 2013) The Russian Orthodox Church will never recognize same-sex marriages, even though it respects people’s free choice even if it is sinful, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said on Tuesday (21 May) at a meeting with the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, Thorbjoern Jagland. “If people choose such a way of […]

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Interfax: Three-fourths of Russians insist government should ban public display of homosexuality – poll

Map of Russia

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 17, 2013) Homophobia is rather common in Russian society and attitudes toward the LGBT community have been changing slowly throughout the past year, sociologists said. The same as a year ago, three-fourths of Russians brand gays and lesbians as morally loose (43%) or mentally deficient persons (35%). Only 12% acknowledge homosexuality’s right to existence, the Levada […]

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Moscow News: No more rainbows: anti-gay sentiment rises in Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – May 20, 2013) “Homosexuality is not a perversion. Perversion is hockey on grass and ballet on ice!” reads one picket sign, held aloft by a middle-aged man. “Against all forms of discrimination,” proclaims another, held by a young woman. “My gender is my choice,” says a third. The scene was Moscow Pride. […]

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NEWSLINK: Riot Police Stand By and Watch Attack on Homosexual Activists

Russian Duma Building

[“Riot Police Stand By and Watch Attack on LGBT Activists” – Vedomosti – January 31, 2013] Vedomosti reports on a demonstration in front of the Duma featuring homosexual behavior in the form of same-sex kissing, broken up by “Orthodox fundamentalists,” with police reportedly then arresting only the homosexual demonstrators: … Russian authorities seem to have given up their monopoly on […]

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‘We Live in Russia, Not Sodom and Gomorrah’

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – January 28, 2013) With a United Russia deputy declaring that Russia is not Sodom and Gomorrah, the State Duma gave tentative approval to a bill that would ban “gay propaganda” to minors. But the measure, which mirrors similar legislation in place in St. Petersburg and several other areas, met with unusually strong […]

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As New Ban Looms, Gays in Russia Face Uphill Battle

Map of Russia

MOSCOW, January 24 (Dan Peleschuk, RIA Novosti) ­ Pavel Samburov exudes confidence when he recalls the night in October, on International Coming Out Day, when a group of masked hoodlums stormed and ransacked a Moscow gay club. “They worked as a team,” Samburov says nonchalantly, taking a drag from a cigarette, then snuffing it out. “It was an organized attack.” […]

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