Organised russian homophobia

Russian Homophobia – Far worse than we imagined

As a slight deviation from my LGBT History Month Project I had to write about the situation in Russia today.

Last night I watched the Channel 4 documentary Hunted.  I say watched – I actually had to switch off eventually because I found the programme too disturbing. The programme is available on catch up on 4OD but be warned this is a very disturbing documentary as you will see from this short trailer.

   

If you have not heard about Hunted, it shows how, as a result of Russia’s anti gay laws, gangs of vigilantes are now hunting gay men and subjecting them to humiliation, beatings and torture sometimes resulting severe injury or death. The police provide little or no protection to LGBT people and often add to the harassment. 
The vigilante group shown in the programme is a chapter of ‘Occupy Paedophilia’ who claim to be targeting paedophiles, yet all their targets are gay men.  Their strategy, called “a safari”, is to connect online in gay chat room and dating sites and encourage a gay man to meet them at an apartment.  There the group waits to trap them. torture and humiliate them, and post a video of the event on the internet to “destroy their lives”. This is exactly what happened in the documentary and I have to wonder what might have happened to the victim if the incident were not being filmed by journalists. 
 
Why would they let a journalist film them?  Simple – they have no fear of any repercussions for their acts. They do not try to hide their identities and vigilantes routinely get off even violent attacks with a caution. And it is easy to see why.  Most Russian citizens interviewed think that what they are doing is good and openly a tiny proportion admit to even knowing someone who is gay.  
 
Then I read an article in Pink News today  headlined  “Russian deputy Prime Minister: Gay athletes should ‘leave the kids alone’  The official line in Russia clearly is that all gay people are paedophiles. Russian President Vladamir Putin had made a similar comment a few weeks ago in arguing that gay athletes at the winter Olympics will be safe.  If I was a gay Olympic athlete, after watching last nights programme, I would be very concerned for my safety.
There is very clear evidence from research connecting homophobia with suppressed homosexuality. Religious organisations have for centuries been at the forefront of anti gay propaganda whilst refusing to address the huge issues of priests sexually abusing young boys.  The Russian Orthodox priest interviewed on Hunted was alarming in his views and I for one would not want to see children anywhere near him.
 
I know from conversations with counselors dealing with sexual abuse issues that most paedophiles are heterosexual men, often step parents or other members of their victim’s family. Most homophobic men on Hunted last night seemed to want to engage in ritual abuse of their victims which, as we saw, often had an uncomfortably sexual slant.
 
If the Russian leadership continues to promote the view that all gay men are paedophiles it is hardly surprising that the people in Russia are becoming increasingly homophobic. The same messages are being promoted in Africa often heavily supported by American homophobic church missionaries. 
What is happening in Russia is not just a Russian problem. The recent debates in the Common and Lords around the Equal Marriage Bill highlighted that these extreme views still exist especially within religious organisations who managed to negotiate an opt out from the provisions of the Act. The Church of England is prevented by law from officiating in a same sex marriage, even if a particular vicar wanted to perform the ceremony.  
I think that it is time to get serious about exposing this hypocrisy and increasingly bring to public attention the abusive nature of these extreme religious and political fanatics. They seem to be targeting the gay community to hide the fact that often it is they themselves who are the worst paedophiles because they hide behind the cover or high profile respectability – just as Jimmy Saville  managed to do for decades.

Update
I have just come across this short video that shows graphically the kind of problems that are happening to gay people in Russia and wanted to share with you – it is disturbing but shows how fascist propaganda can move people. 88 % of Russians apparently support the change in law and it seems that this is because they have been convinced that Gay people can make their children gay with propaganda.  

  

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Posted in Homophobia and Transphobia, LGBT Rights and tagged , , , , .

One Comment

  1. , not merely huanms having spiritual experiences, but spiritual beings having human experiences.” -AnonymousI think that this says it all. I believe that we have been put here by God for some purpose only clearly known to Him. I believe it is our calling/duty/mission/job/joy and wonderment to figure what that mission or purpose is.I would like to thank JoAnn for providing us with the latest, “official” position of the Roman Catholic Church is.I personally find a huge amount of reward and connection with my Church. For the past ten years or so I have been traveling a great deal and so I am unable to participate fully as a member of my parish. However, when I was more settled into one place, I was Ordained as an Eucharistic Minister and ministered to the sick which was VERY rewarding as well as at Sunday Mass.A few weeks ago, I heard from an acquaintance that I have known less than one year. She called me from the train on her way home from SRS in Trinidad, CO. At the time we met she was recovering from a nearly successful suicide attempt and had just made the final and fateful decision to “transition and get the surgery”. Her situation got me thinking again about how she had joined the Unitarian Church in order to find the necessary acceptance and spiritual support. I thought about how sad and tragic it was that she could not find the Love of Jesus in the very Catholic Church that HE Himself had founded.In any case, I spoke to my pastor about this and he told me that to his knowledge, the Church had no ‘official’ position.Now my question is this. Did the RCC document make any distinction between post-op TS and or TG or was i simply a “catch-all trans” statement. Also I am pretty sure that this document DID NOT carry the weight of Papal Infallibility and as such such be given consideration ONLY as the “opinion of men’. Most certainly, it is NOT the teachings of Our Lord.

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