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US State Deptartment Releases Statement Over Russia’s ‘Anti-Gay Propaganda” Legislation

Russia’s parliament on Friday gave its initial backing in a 388-1 vote in the first of three readings hours to a bill that would ban what lawmakers there call “homosexual propaganda” among minors which includes banning free access to information on homosexuality and could lead to gays being fined and being imprisoned for demonstrating or kissing in public akin to local laws already passed in Putin’s native city of Saint Petersburg and five other Russian regions.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland released the following statement:

We are deeply concerned by this draft legislation in Russia that severely restricts freedom of expression and assembly for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and, indeed, for all Russians.

You know how strongly we feel about LGBT rights around the world, how strongly the secretary of state personally feels that nobody should be discriminated against for who they love,”

Vitaly Milonov, a lawmaker from  the ruling United Russia party who authored St. Petersburg’s anti-propaganda  legislation, maintains the law is only meant to protect minors, and doesn’t  infringe on the private lives of homosexual adults.

“This is a law that simply leaves  private life within the boundaries of private life,” he told RIA Novosti on  Thursday.

But he added that, when it comes  to legal definitions of marriage, non-traditional families “don’t  count.”

“All Russian citizens have the same basic rights and freedoms,   but any kind of extras – based upon  matters of principle, such as their private family lives – are not included.”

Where have we heard that before?  – (The 3 Stooges Of Hate Tony Perkins, Peter Sprigg and Brian Brown: Gays Have The Same Civil Rights As Everybody Else)

While I find it admirable that the State Department has actually said something about the current anti-gay atmosphere in Russia, I must admit that while gay American’s today are still treated as second class citizens in its own country its highly hypocritical.   Perhaps that’s why statements like like the one issued by the State Department pull absolutely no weight and make no difference in extremely homophobic countries when they are made.



Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact: Will@Back2Stonewall.com

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