Gay ban in Russia

Tens-of-thousands took to the streets this weekend, angry over what they say is election fraud and fed up with Vladimir Putin's presumption of power. But despite the call for greater rights and democracy, there is one group that fears its rights will be trounced. Legislation proposed by Putin's party will outlaw what it calls "gay propaganda" aimed at youth Gay-rights activists, fear it is a thinly-veiled attempt to prosecute and persecute them in a nation already apologetically homophobic.



Part Two of The Current

Gay Ban in Russia - Polina Savchenko

A campaign to ban the so-called propaganda of homosexuality is gaining momentum across Russia. Two northern regions have already passed laws to that effect. Lawmakers in Moscow plan to follow suit and there are calls for a similar law at the federal level.

In St. Petersburg, the United Russia Party of Vladimir Putin wants to impose fines on anything in public that it deems promotes homosexuality, bisexuality or transgendered lifestyle among minors.

The proposals worry gay-rights activists, who say the law is vague and say that makes it dangerous. But United Russia Deputy Vitaly Milonov insists they have no reason to be concerned.

Homosexuality was only decriminalized in Russia in 1993. And mistrust persists against gay, lesbian and transgendered people. We heard from Muscovite.

Polina Savchenko is a Russian activist for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights with the organization Coming Out. She was in St. Petersburg.

Gay ban in Russia - Igor Malakhov

Our next guest knows what it's like to be gay and lives in Russia. Igor Malakhov is a Russian freelance journalist living in Canada. He was in Toronto.

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