Tuesday, April 09, 2013


Let's start this off with a nice little quote from Vladimir Putin I ran across on Clarissa's Blog (Clarissa adds some helpful notes::

Here is today’s speech of Russia’s President Putin on the subject of gay marriage (translation is mine):

There is no discrimination against homosexuals in Russia. These. . . khm, khm. . . people [with a facial expression showing deep disgust] have jobs, they get raises at work, and even statewide prizes, if they deserve them. However, there will be no gay marriage in our country because such marriages do not produce children*. Here in Russia and in Europe, we are suffering from a demographic crisis. We want people to reproduce. And the people we want to reproduce are not immigrants. We want the “title nation” to reproduce**. . . The only countries that allow propaganda of homosexuality*** are the same countries that allow propaganda of pedophilia. We cannot allow this in Russia because if we legalize propaganda of pedophilia, there are regions that will organize an armed uprising.

This speech on Russian TV is followed by a long investigative report on Holland’s pedophiles.

* Putin’s marriage hasn’t produced any children in over 30 years and is not likely to do so in the future.

** The “title nation” means ethnic Russians. The ones who are blond and blue-eyed.

*** The expression “propaganda of homosexuality” in Russian means allowing gay teachers to work and gay people to appear on TV in any capacity. It also refers to the Gay Pride parade.

Mr. Putin's party  meanwhile has passed a law through parliament which puts a ban on  "homosexual propaganda"  (I'm wondering is that referring to homosexuals propagandizing that famous "gay agenda" we hear so much about hear in the US of A).  The draft bill, which still needs a second reading and to be signed by Putin to become law, would see offenders handed a fine of 500,000 roubles (over 12,000 euros).

"We live in Russia, not Sodom and Gomorrah," United Russia deputy Dmitry Sablin said before the 388-1 vote in the 450-seat chamber. "Russia is a thousands-years-old country founded on its own traditional values - the protection of which is dearer to me than even oil and gas."

I see then.  Dmitry you should check out this little Church family in Topeka.  I think you would like them.

Maybe, the national law is not yet in effect, but as Der Spiegel tells us over a year ago,

...police in St. Petersburg, Russia, have made arrests on the strength of a new law banning the dissemination of information on homo-, bi- and transsexuality. Two men were arrested in the city center on Thursday after holding up a sign reading "Homosexuality Is Normal," according to the newswire Interfax.

Russia's second-largest city passed the controversial law on Feb. 29. The two men now face a possible maximum fine of 500,000 rubles (€12,800/$17,000). The maximum penalty is more than the average annual income in Russia.

The law bans films, music videos, books and newspapers that contain homosexual content as well as the rainbow flag, which is a common symbol of gay pride. And the ban may soon no longer be limited to just St. Petersburg and other cities in Russia. At the end of March, Vladimir Putin's United Russia party introduced a bill in the country's parliament, the Duma, which would impose the ban at the national level.
Several other Russian cities also have such laws.

At the Chronicle of Higher Education web site, Laurie Essig who has written on what it is like to be gay in Russia says,

 ...the Russia of Vladimir Putin is an equally grim place to be queer.

She explains that under the legislation, in Russia, 

If we explain to our children that our family is no worse than other families, then we are breaking the law.

 Euronews correspondent, James Franey said:

“The ban on so-called homosexual propaganda is just one step in what gay rights activists have called a state-sponsored witch hunt. Just last year, a Moscow court slapped a 100-year ban on the city’s Gay Pride march. 

Anyway, Mr. Putin showed up in Amsterdam yesterday to meet with the President of the Netherlands.  You can imagine how his visit is going down there.  Thousands of protesters greeted him with rainbow flags, song, noise, dance, and anger.  A nice touch came around 8Pm when a boat entered the water at the Maritime Museum with:

...two male inflatable dolls kiss(ing)  each other. On the forecastle demonstrators had a life-sized statue of a scantily clad Putin put a rainbow flag.  
At Amsterdam City Hall the mayor raised a rainbow flag in protest. 

And so went Vladimir's trip to the Netherlands.

The following rap up is from Raw Story.

Russia’s Putin faces thousands of pro-LGBT protesters in Amsterdam

Anti-Putin protest in Amsterdam via AFP

Over 3,000 people protested Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Amsterdam on Monday, with rainbow flags flying at half-mast around the city that prides itself on enjoying every kind of freedom.

The brightly dressed crowd chanted “Go home Putin!” during a festive protest opposite the museum where Putin had dinner with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, at the end of his visit to the nation that first legalised gay marriage in 2001.

Protesters were mainly targeting a bill before the Russian parliament that bans homosexual “propaganda” among minors, but also a general rights clampdown in Russia, where Putin is serving his third term as president.

Activists and Western governments have condemned the measure, which provides for fines of up to 500,000 rubles (12,500 euros, $15,830) for any “public act” promoting homosexuality or paedophilia.

“There are no violations of the rights of sexual minorities in Russia,” a defiant Putin said alongside Rutte before heading in to dinner. “These people enjoy full rights and liberties just like everyone else.”

Putin said that gay couples could not produce children and that “Europe and Russia have demographic problems.”

“We need to reach a consensus with this community, we need to agree to work collectively. Don’t insult each other, agree with, understand, each other and develop certain civilised rules,” he said. “I think this is possible.”

Rutte said he had raised concerns over NGO and gay rights with Putin.

“We had a good talk about it,” Rutte said, which testifies “to the good relations between our two countries.”

Dozens of police were deployed in the tightly secured area, including anti-riot forces, although an AFP correspondent saw some police dancing to the thumping music.

“Critical journalists not allowed. Do not frighten President Putin. Keep this area human rights free,” read one huge Amnesty International banner hanging from a window.

“No gay propaganda beyond this line,” another sign read.

Dutch police said they had briefly detained one person, a gay Dutch artist who wrote expletives against Putin on the window of his Amsterdam studio.

Barges sailed on the Amstel river with signs reading “Punk bands strictly prohibited”, in reference to members of the band Pussy Riot who were jailed last year for staging an anti-Putin concert in Russia.

Rainbow flags dotted the city, including outside Amsterdam City Hall. Many of the flags were flown at half-mast.

Putin’s visit is centred on trade talks with The Netherlands, and many Russian business leaders are travelling with him.

Russia has invested heavily in the Port of Rotterdam, a transit point for much of its oil and gas.

Many Russian companies are also registered in The Netherlands because of its favourable taxation regime.

Environmental group Greenpeace criticised an active cooperation agreement for Arctic exploration signed during the visit between Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell and Russian giant Gazprom’s oil subsidiary.

“It would seem that Shell has not learnt from the litany of errors that plagued its attempts to drill in Alaska and that its relentless search for oil and gas continues,” said Greenpeace Netherlands Arctic Campaigner Faiza Oulahsen.

“This deal is bad news for investors and bad news for the fragile Arctic environment and the indigenous peoples whose way of life depends on it,” she said.

Putin attended the opening of an exhibition at Amsterdam’s Hermitage Museum with Dutch Queen Beatrix about Peter the Great, who came to The Netherlands as he tried to modernise Russia more than 300 years ago.

Russian authorities have launched a crackdown on foreign NGOs operating in Russia, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and German think-tanks.

Putin arrived from Germany, where he was met with topless protesters. In Amsterdam, the Russian leader, who is himself not averse to being photographed topless, said: “Thankfully the homosexuals didn’t undress here.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday urged Putin to “give a chance” to non-governmental organisations which she described as a “motor of innovation”.

The head of COC, the world’s oldest gay rights group, told AFP that they were protesting particularly because of the law’s vagueness.

“If I walk down the street holding my wife’s hand that can be construed as propaganda, flying a rainbow flag can be considered propaganda, and that’s all punishable,” Tanja Ineke said.

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