Sunday, January 19, 2014

Putin resembles Hitler as he suggests Russia needs to "cleanse" itself of homosexuality

How horrible it must be to be LGBT in Russia these days. My heart truly goes out to all LGBT people living in Russia and their allies.

Next month's Sochi Olympics are shining a light on that country's despicable treatment of its gay people and rightly so. Ignorance about LGBT people seems to underpin the mainstream culture in Russia (as expressed by its leadership), where the lessons learned in other countries by people just as smart as Russians seem to go unheeded and unlearned.

Now Russia President Vladimir Putin is talking like Adolf Hitler by equating gays with pedophiles and saying Russia needs to “cleanse” itself of homosexuality if it wants to increase its birth rate.

This kind of thinking is horrifying.

Congrats to writer Warren Kinsella for his article today on this very subject in which he too makes the comparison between Putin's Olympics in 2014 and Hitler's Olympics in 1936. Our international failure to launch an effective boycott of Putin's games will only have dire consequences for gays in Russia. It's an ominous warning considering what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany after Hitler's Olympic success.

I hope I'm not being naive in doubting a Russian version of the Holocaust against gay people. But without a doubt, the Russian law against the presence of homosexuality in any part of public society in that country is already having violent consequences for LGBT people.

But just as insidious is the impact Russia's law will have on LGBT youth and Putin's demand that Russia "cleanse" itself of homosexuality to increase its birth rate. I guess Putin hopes that more LGBT Russian men and women will stay in the closet out of fear of violence, and embrace fake heterosexual lives that are wrong for them and for society as a whole, creating phoney marriages and lives lost in clouds of lies and hopelessness.

Putin is either ignorant or deliberately ignoring the fact that homosexuality exists as an inherent, unchangeable attribute in about the same percentage (around three to five percent) in every society, across all demographics, classes, races, etc. including in Russia. He reportedly refused to answer a question today posed by the BBC to him about whether or not he believes the truth that people are born gay.

Holding Gay Pride parades, allowing gay people to exist openly in your society, and even teaching children about the importance of treating all human beings including homosexuals equally and with dignity and respect, will not turn any of those children who are not already destined to be LGBT into an LGBT person. Banning such "gay propaganda" will only further isolate the vulnerable gay Russian youth in that society and promote violence against anyone who doesn't fit in.

Treating LGBT people with equality, dignity and respect is not a Western value; it is a human value as homosexuals are present in all parts of the world, not just the West.

Sorry for the platitudes, which are obvious to most of us here in Canada. But sadly, these truths need to be repeated again and again as old world notions about sexuality continue to dominate in many parts of the world.

And heroes like the brave, gay Russian man (pictured below) who unfurled a rainbow flag today at the Olympic torch relay as it passed through his hometown of Voronezh, 910 kilometres north of Sochi, only to be arrested, need to be honoured and supported.

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