We have made a bit of a fuss recently about the fact that it’s now basically illegal to be gay in Russia.
Officially, Russia simply offers ‘no protection in law’ for gay couples, and has outlawed things like gay pride marches and ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’, while suggesting that homosexuality and paedophilia are basically the same thing.
(if that sounds suspiciously like Section 28… yeah, it does, doesn’t it?)
In reality, this has translated to a rise in homophobic assaults, Neo-Nazi hate campaigns against homosexuals and a general trend towards beating the shit out of people who either are gay or who look like they might be – tacitly approved of by the Russian state (or at least, proceeding with neither condemnation nor prosecution).
This has been rightfully condemned in the UK (and quite a few other nations) – with the rise in Russian homophobic hate groups becoming the subject of a recent Channel 4 documentary.
The Russian Embassy to the UK has dismissed this as anti-Russian ‘hate propaganda’, part of a “well-engineered campaign of slander”, adding:
“One could have easily whipped up such ‘documentary’ about a hunting season on redheads in the UK saying that ‘ginger’ people face unmotivated verbal and physical abuse on a daily basis”
There were times as a kid when it got spectacularly frustrating, and I have in the past pointed out that it’s an anagram of ‘nigger’ – and that people who happily shout ‘ginger’ at me probably wouldn’t shout the latter at a stranger in the street…
But there is a truly gargantuan difference between ‘some people being mean’ and saying ‘you are no longer legally equal to other members of society’
I’ve never been denied equal rights in law on the basis of my hair colour.
I’ve never been denied the right to marry or adopt.
I’ve never been refused accommodation or employment because I’m ginger.
I’ve never been frightened to leave my house for fear of persecution.
It’s never been suggested that I’m more likely to be a paedophile because I’m ginger.
…I’ve never been chased through the streets and beaten to a pulp because of the colour of my hair.
It is illegal to discriminate against me because of the colour of my hair (and if someone goes beyond childish name-calling, I am protected by the full force of the law); in Russia, today, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against a homosexual solely because of his or her sexuality.
So I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that perhaps the Russian Embassy is talking total shit, and that these two things aren’t even remotely comparable.
A drunk, or a kid, shouting something at me on the street is so far removed from being denied equal protection in law that I can’t believe anyone would have the audacity to compare them.
The very fact that the Russian Embassy has made this comparison shows how little regard they have for their homosexual community – and how little they care about the horrific world their toxic anti-gay legislation has helped create.