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criminally prosecuted offense in the Soviet Union, the law was repealed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.