Inequality Amongst the LGBTQ Community Persists in Russia

Lorena Martinez – Blog Post #2

As you can read from some of the prior blog posts, the United States Supreme Court recently struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and has lifted the California ban on same-sex marriage. These decisions come with a new progressive attitude of acceptance toward the gay community and their rights. The majority of the United States seems to be transcending toward a new level of consciousness regarding equal rights and privileges for everyone (no matter sexual orientation).

However, though the United States is becoming more open to and accepting of the LGBTQ community, this is not the case for many countries around the world, including Russia. As many LGBTQ pride festivities were happening this weekend in the U.S., those living in Moscow, Russia were reduced to holding a virtual pride march online due to a court ban on gay pride parades for the following 100 years. People that have actively protested against the bill have been assaulted by anti-gay demonstrators (which shows that those whom support this certain kind of inequality are willing to resort to violence to get their message across).

Riot police guard gay rights activists who were beaten by anti-gay protesters during an authorized gay rights rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Saturday. While a march there was allowed to go ahead, gay rights activists in Moscow turned to the Web on Sunday to celebrate gay pride. Photo Credit: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

Riot police guard gay rights activists who were beaten by anti-gay protesters during an authorized gay rights rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Saturday. While a march there was allowed to go ahead, gay rights activists in Moscow turned to the Web on Sunday to celebrate gay pride.
Photo Credit: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

Along with this ban on gay pride demonstrations, Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to sign into law a bill that would criminalize the providing of information regarding homosexuality to children, and another bill that would prohibit the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples and single people living in areas where same-sex marriage is lawful. President Putin is clearly perpetuating the notion that inequality based on sexual orientation should exist.

Although the U.S. has made huge strides toward truly having equality for all, this is not the case for other areas in the world. There are still those that believe inequalities should persist, even if it is merely an inequality based on sexual orientations/preferences. After reading this article, I decided to do a bit of research in order to note any differences or similarities that the United States and Russia may have regarding LGBT rights. Below is a table comprised of some of the key LGBT rights and where the two countries stand on each issue.

lgbtrightsusrussia

As one can note from above, although inequalities still exist regarding basic LGBT (human) rights, the United States seems to be far more progressive in its movement toward equality than Russia, whom is moving toward stricter regulations and discriminatory laws concerning the LGBT community. Although the LGBT community has its setbacks in this country, the United States is moving toward equality faster than other industrialized areas of the world.

Personally, I do not believe that one’s sexual orientation/preference defines a person’s character, integrity, or morality, but there are people (some of whom have high levels of power) that believe that a person’s sexuality affects society as a whole, thus leading to the legitimation of inequalities and in turn the passing of bans on gay pride parades, bans on same-sex marriage, etc. As long as such mentalities regarding sexuality and the LGBTQ community exist, one cannot say that we have (and practice) equal rights.

 

Armitage, Susan. “Banned From Marching, Russians Celebrate Gay Pride Online.” NPR. NPR, 30 June 2013. Web. 01 July 2013. <http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/06/30/197324391/russian-look-online-to-celebrate-gay-pride&gt;.

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