Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pride Weekend

On June 26 the US Supreme Court made the historical decision to repeal DOMA and lifted prop 8 ban on gay marriages in California. On the same day, Russian Federation Council, the upper body of the Russian government, approved the law against "Propaganda of Nontraditional Sexual Relationships Among Under-Age Children." Sex between men was a criminally prosecuted offense in the Soviet Union, the law was repealed only in 1993. That law had been created in 1933, supported by the rhetoric of "recruiting into homosexuality" and equating "pederasts" with "foreign spies"--the rhetoric that's being recycled today. Under the new law, punishment for foreign citizens "promoting homosexuality" is steeper than for Russian citizens, it includes arrest and deportation. Putin is yet to sign this new anti-propaganda law into action, and already news reports that two women seen hugging on St. Petersburg subway were escorted out; in Moscow two women kissing at a restaurant were asked to leave. A small protest took place in St. Petersburg this morning and resulted in more arrests and physical violence. At the same time as the law against "propaganda" was approved, another law passed that made it illegal for gay couples to adopt. This Pride weekend, I'm thinking of all of my friends.