Russian officials are reportedly taking steps to remove the “gay” terminology from Putin’s anti-gay laws banning the promotion of “homosexual propaganda” to minors in the country. Before you get excited, we’ll just go ahead and tell you this seemingly great news isn’t necessarily that great at all.
Putin and his newly-adopted laws have been heavily scrutinized around the world for their use against the LGBT community and the horrific consequences LGBTs have suffered since the legislation passed in June 2013.
Technically speaking, the new legislation amended Article 6.21 in Russia’s Code of Administrative Offenses to ban the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” The Russian police have since equated “non-traditional” with “homosexual” and acted accordingly, arresting, beating, and generally making life hell for LGBTs in Russia.
But according to Queer Russia, representatives from a number of Russia’s political parties submitted a proposal yesterday to exclude the term “non-traditional” from Article 6.21, which would essentially ban the promotion of any sexual relations to minors—not just gay relations.
Recognizing that the country has come under fire for targeting the LGBT community, the amendment “proposes to deem any information which promotes priority of sexual relations as opposed to family life values, spiritual and intellectual development of of minors as information harmful to the health and (or) development of children.”
So, this could either go one of two ways. If passed, the Russian police would treat heterosexual people “promoting heterosexuality” (i.e. kissing, standing, breathing) in public just as harshly as they have the gays (unlikely), or this could just be a way for the government to save face and claim they’re officially “no longer targeting homosexuals” (very likely).
Regardless of what happens now, Russia, we’ll still think you’re an asshole. We’ve had it with you.