As Russian lawmakers consider a nationwide ban on “gay propaganda” (whatever the hell that is), gays in neighboring Belarus are reporting increased harassment from police—including nightclub raids, unwarranted arrests and inquisitions, and even physical violence.
The AP reports:
One activist accuses police of beating him during questioning, while others say they were interrogated about their sex lives. The leader of a gay rights organization was stripped of his passport just ahead of a planned trip to the United States.
Its believed the crackdown is a result of the local LGBT community’s attempt to legally register GayBelarus, an organization devoted to protecting their rights.
Belarus legalized homosexuality in 1994, but the gay community is also an attractive target for the government, which is eager to give its citizenry a scapegoat and silence calls for democratic reforms: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruthlessly ruled the nation for nearly two decades, once said “it’s better to be a dictator than a gay.”
Well, you would know, wouldn’t you?