Major Russian City Overturns Gay Propaganda Law, So What’s Next?

alekseevNiko111There’s some slow progress being made in St. Petersburg: that draconian “gay propaganda” law is now history. Of course, that doesn’t mean that life is now a dream for LGBTs in Russia, but it’s a step in the right direction.

This step doesn’t overturn the antigay laws nationwide. It’s just a repeal of St. Petersburg’s ban on any accurate acknowledgement of gays. A federal law remains in effect.

What’s the reason for the turnaround? It’s a little unclear. According to legislators, the law simply isn’t necessary anymore, with the federal ban now in place.

But LGBT organizers suspect that it might have something to do with a legal challenge currently pending before the European Court of Human Rights. If the court decides that Russia’s laws go too far and forces them to be overturned, it would be a humiliation for those antigay lawmakers.

So it’s possible that they might be secretly planning a new round of antigay laws that would be less vulnerable to legal challenge.

Meanwhile, at the federal level, lawmakers just rejected an attempt to ban all sex-education material for minors. The proposal was floated by Deputy Maria Maksakova-Igenbergs, who is — we are not making this up — a former nude model. What a country!


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  • gaym50ish

    The civilized countries that have condemned Russia’s anti-gay laws have not been told the extent to which American evangelicals were the architects of those laws.

    The movement began in 2010 with a meeting in Russia called the Sanctity of Motherhood Conference. In attendance was American Larry Jacobs, vice president of the Illinois-based World Congress of Families. He told the audience that he represented the American churches that were “defending life and family” and that they hoped to be allied with Russia in a traditional values crusade. “The Russians,” Jacobs said, “might be the Christian saviors of the world.”

    Another key player was Allan Carlson, president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society in Illinois. He is the author of a 1988 book, “Family Questions: Reflections on the American Social Crisis.” Jacobs. Carlson and their colleagues returned to Russia many times to promote their anti-gay agenda. The World Congress of Families helped host at least five major gatherings in Russia, dominated by American speakers. National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown helped author a bill banning gay adoptions.

    In spite of all the outrage expressed by world leaders, however, including President Barack Obama, little has been said about American involvement in Russia’s crackdown on gays.

  • Qjersey

    @gaym50ish: Interfering in the politics and policy of another nation is a crime under federal law…

  • DB75

    @Qjersey: Didn’t stop the invasion of Iraq.

  • vive

    @Qjersey, are you making that up? Interfering in the politics of other countries is what U.S. foreign policy is.

  • Throbert McGee

    Unless Qjersey can cite the relevant federal statute by name/number, I’m going to assume that either he pulled that one totally out of his wazoo, or that he’s ludicrously misinterpreting a real law that has absolutely no bearing here.

  • Throbert McGee

    “But LGBT organizers suspect that it might have something to do with a legal challenge currently pending before the European Court of Human Rights. If the court decides that Russia’s laws go too far and forces them to be overturned, it would be a humiliation for those antigay lawmakers.

    Oh, Mary, please…

    HANS BLIX: Let me inspect your entire palace, Mr. Il, or else.
    KIM JONG-IL: Or else what?
    HANS BLIX: Or else the UN will be very angry with you, and we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are.

    Team America: World Police

    The “enforcement power” of the ECHR over domestic Russian policy is basically limited to angry letters and toothless monetary fines. (In the past, some ECHR decisions on the Russian propaganda laws ordered Russia to pay less than $50,000 in compensation to the gay plaintiffs, though there’s little evidence that the Russian government actually complied with the order.)

  • Throbert McGee

    Also, by the way, the Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseev [the guy being arrested in the photo above] is very, very far from universally admired among OTHER gay Russian activists — who have variously accused him of being:

    (1) something of an attention-whore (This accusation has dogged Alekseev for years — even among those who mostly admired his gutsiness.)

    (2) a born-again Putin apologist (After late August 2013, when Alekseev rather suddenly got cozy with the Kremlin-funded RT network and began denouncing “Western interference.”)

    (3) a virulent antisemite (Since September 2013, after Alekseev got into a huge Facebook/Twitter battle with the Jewish-Russian gay pr0nographer Michael Lucas. At first, Alekseev merely called Lucas a “Jewish slut” — and, as they say, it’s only Libel if it’s NOT the Truth — but then he quickly branched out into more generalized paranoia about zhidy, the exact Russian equivalent for “k*kes.”)

    And if you read the GayStarNews article about this new development in St. Petersburg, the only Russian LGBT activist actually quoted by name is — you guessed it — Nikolai Alekseev.

    Considering that the guy just might be a lunatic, I wouldn’t put too much stock in his political analysis, nor in his prediction that the ECHR is in a position to “humiliate” Russian lawmakers.

  • Stache99

    @Throbert McGee: You might be right but who knows if that is 100% Alekseev and not the KGB. Either he’s really insane or someone’s using him to to undermine the West. I believe he was arrested and had his stuff confiscated at one time.

  • doug105

    @Throbert McGee: The Logan Act
    § 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
    Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
    This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

  • James Hart

    Does anyone really think Putin or the Russian legislators care what the European Court thinks? Russia just annexed a piece of Ukraine, and after protests from around the world including President Obama, Putin just yawned.

  • Throbert McGee


    You might be right but who knows if that is 100% Alekseev and not the KGB.

    People initially suspected that someone else might have hacked into Alekseev’s Twitter account to discredit him, but when an independent Russian news site asked him about it, he admitted that the words were his, and tried to spin it as “when I said k*kes, I only meant it in the sense of certain AMERICAN Jews who are trying to TAKE OVER the Russian LGBT movement.”

    Um, sure.

    Note that Russian has a couple of perfectly excellent slur-words referring to Americans — thus Alekseev easily could’ve chosen to call Michael Lucas a pindos (“f**king Yank”) who’d abandoned Russia to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, rather than make an issue out of Lucas’s Jewishness specifically.

  • Throbert McGee

    In fairness, Mr. Alekseev might not be a bad person at all — nor does he necessarily hate Jews. (Michael Lucas threw the first verbal punch, and was gratuitously insulting towards Alekseev.)

    He is pretty “erratic,” however, and not the most reliable source.

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