Monday, July 22, 2013
We have received a report that police have detained three citizens from the Netherlands in Murmansk (North Russia) on charges of violating the new Russian law of the "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors." The court hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. (Moscow time) this morning, July 22, 2013.
Get more information from the Facebook page of the Russian LGBT Network, which said it is providing legal assistance to the Dutch citizens.
An editorial in the New York Times notes that Vladimir Putin "has declared war on homosexuals" but that the world has been "mostly silent." The New York Times reports that Mr. Putin signed a law on July 3 "banning the adoption of Russian-born children not only to gay couples but also to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists in any form." The editorial calls on world leaders to speak out against Russia's antigay agenda, noting that Russia will be the host of the Winter Olympics. Here is an excerpt from the editorial:
Mr. Putin’s campaign against lesbian, gay and bisexual people is one of distraction, a strategy of demonizing a minority for political gain taken straight from the Nazi playbook. Can we allow this war against human rights to go unanswered? Although Mr. Putin may think he can control his creation, history proves he cannot: his condemnations are permission to commit violence against gays and lesbians. Last week a young gay man was murdered in the city of Volgograd. He was beaten, his body violated with beer bottles, his clothing set on fire, his head crushed with a rock. This is most likely just the beginning.
Nevertheless, the rest of the world remains almost completely ignorant of Mr. Putin’s agenda. His adoption restrictions have received some attention, but it has been largely limited to people involved in international adoptions.
This must change. With Russia about to hold the Winter Games in Sochi, the country is open to pressure. American and world leaders must speak out against Mr. Putin’s attacks and the violence they foster. The Olympic Committee must demand the retraction of these laws under threat of boycott.