Discrimination in Russia

Video Created by: Rocco Del Monte

In June 2013, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law banning dissemination of homosexual “propaganda” to minors and classifying it as pornography, rendering pride events and advocating of gay rights illegal.

Days later in July, more laws was passed that banned the adoption of Russian children to same-sex couples and single parents in countries where marriage equality existed , and allowed for the arrest of any tourists and foreign nationals believed to be gay, punishable by fines and up to 14 days in prison.

Russia’s government passed the laws in an effort to favor traditional Russian values and protect children, while demonstrating a lack of regard for the LGBT community. The laws also drastically undermine the UN’s Universal Declaration for Human Rights, violating rights to marriage, equality, liberty and immunity from arbitrary arrest.

“We need to get tough if they’re going to terrorize and arrest and do the horrific things like we saw in Nazi Germany,” Fred Karger, founder and president of Rights Equal Rights, said.  “We’re standing up as a nation to stop all of that. It’s important to have all of our leaders in the country and our LGBT activists and our donors step up to the plate and take on these tyrannical dictatorships.”

The battle between the LGBT community in Russia and those who oppose them is a raging war, with a growing number of attacks on members of the gay community — including violence at the country’s largest gay nightclub, and the rise of the extremist Occupy Pedophilia group focused on humiliating and beating gays. Just days before the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Human Rights Watch released a brief documentary highlighting recent anti-gay violence.

There are plenty of organizations throughout the world that bring awareness to the issues surrounding Russia’s anti-gay laws. As former president of Equality Pennsylvania Adrian Shanker explains, rallying with them is an efficient way to help victims.

“When we are talking about how…to support the LGBT community here, one of the ways that we can do that is by financially supporting organizations that work at the UN or work internationally, non-government communities that support human rights,” Shanker said. “If we want to support these communities in other countries, it’s more than just talking about it — we have to fund it; we have to do something about it.”

Written by: Robert Riches