Russia’s Homophobia

In June 2013 we wrote about the rise of Homophobia in Russia, a situation that was to be kept under surveillance by the international community as it could quickly become alarming. At the time, a new law had just passed, preventing “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors, but which bottom line concerned the whole society. The targeting of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has not stopped ever since, it has actually worsen and is entering a whole more dangerous level. Indeed, it is not only the Federal Government, but also citizens that are progressively persecuting LGBT people, with increasing violence and homophobic demonstrations becoming recurrent.

Now that Russia is the host of the (most expensive) Winter Olympic games, the denunciation and the activism against the lack of respect for human rights in Russia, have more than ever been on the spotlight. Internal and external voices are rising to demand the end of discrimination and harassment of the LGBT community. Specially, Human Rights Watch launched a controversial video on February 4th, 3 days before the start of the Winter Olympics, portraying extreme violence against gay people, which stirred up an enormous commotion amongst the international community, casting blame on the Russian government.

These mobilizations are very important and it seems that in many places in the world the international community is showing its discontent and lack of tolerance towards homophobia in Russia. Politicians like Obama have condemn this and have endorsed the need for equal treatment, not only during the Winter Olympics, but in general. Several organizations from different countries, like Canada and Norway, even issued videos supporting LGBT activism in Russia.

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