Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 17 February 2006

Russia would be outraged by 'Gay Pride' parade

Plans to hold the first gay pride event there this coming May have been vetoed by Moscow city authorities on the ground that the idea has 'outraged' society. Can't say I'm surprised - this is the country that likes tough government after all, seeming to prefer the joys of living under a new Czar, aka President Putin, rather than continue their timid steps toward something most of us would recognise as 'democracy' in the early- and mid-90s. For gays that meant the decriminalisation of homosexuality as recently as 1993 - and the planned 27th May event was to have commemorated the 13th anniversary of the change.

Naturally Chief Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin has weighed in with some words of wisdom on behalf of Russia's Moslems. Predictably, Andrew Sullivan has weighed in fulminating about Moslem blackmail and of course he's not wrong, but ...

... it comes across as rather disingenuous, to put it mildly, to focus in on that single aspect to this whole sorry affair, specially when he links to the same Independent article as me, which has this as well: Russian Orthodox Church has called it "the propaganda of sin". Bishop Daniil of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk yesterday condemned the plans as a "cynical mockery" and likened homosexuality to leprosy. And Andrew can't, surely, not have read about the notorious skinhead gangs in many Russian cities who are homophobic as well as racist. Frankly I can understand why some gay rights groups there feel it would be imprudent to hold this march - neither Andrew nor I have to face the kind of vicious hatred from quite a lot of our societies (even if they don't care for us much) that gays in Russia do. 'Islamophobia' is no better than homophobia in my humble opinion.

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