Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The retrograde Russians

The article is "Gays in Russia Find No Haven, Despite Support From the West".

The Russian government strongly objects to characterizing recently passed laws as discriminatory.

Russian officials say the criticism is unfair and inaccurate. In 1993, Russia repealed the Soviet-era law that made gay sex a crime.

“This is not about imposing any kind of sanctions against homosexuality,” Mr. Putin said, defending the propaganda law at a news conference in June. “This is about protecting children.”

He added: “The law does not in any way infringe on the rights of sexual minorities. They are full-fledged members of our society and are not being discriminated against in any way.”

I'd laugh at that unabashedly bald-faced lie were the consequences not so brutal for gays and their straight defenders.

Still, there's a possible upside I don't think anyone has pointed out: the Russians, at long last, might have found common ground with the most extremely fundamentalist elements of the Islamic world. The 88 percent of Russians who support the laws keep spiritual company with the Taliban (among others). That ought to make the average Russian proud.

Russia and the Taliban, boldly marching toward the Middle Ages.

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