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Thread: What the Russians say

  1. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by treeloving View Post
    Does nationality matter? Discrimination is discrimination.
    yeah but this people seem to think Russia has the worst when they are crying pot keetle black
    they should should protest or make their statements first closer to home, Kansas, Arizona even Canada
    or better pick on Uganda were they just approved the Gay Criminality law, anyone gay will be thrown in life imprisonment

  2. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post


    We have a sarcasm smilies, shown above
    Learn something new every day. Thanks Doris--I'll remember for the future.


  3. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    yeah but this people seem to think Russia has the worst when they are crying pot keetle black
    they should should protest or make their statements first closer to home, Kansas, Arizona even Canada
    or better pick on Uganda were they just approved the Gay Criminality law, anyone gay will be thrown in life imprisonment
    A boycott against Arizona is already in the planning stage should the Gay Jim Crow law be signed by the governor. How bad is the bill? Bad enough that BOTH of Arizona's Senators have urged the governor to veto the bill. A similar "license to discriminate" bill was just rejected in Indiana. Secretary of State John Kerry has threatened Uganda with aids cuts in direct response to the Gay Criminality Law.

    You know what's great about all of this? None of these official protestors are LGBT. Of course if this were Russia, they'd all be subject to criminal action by their own government for speaking out in defense of equal rights for LGBT people.

    ETA: WOWSER! This is a big one. A federal judge has just struck down the ban on gay marriages in Texas, stating it violates the US Constitution. Waving my big gay rainbow flag and doing the happy dance!


  4. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    ETA: WOWSER! This is a big one. A federal judge has just struck down the ban on gay marriages in Texas, stating it violates the US Constitution. Waving my big gay rainbow flag and doing the happy dance!

    Apparently the number of states that license same-sex marriages (17) is representing about 38% of the US population, which is huge progress. And some states are slated to have their stayed rulings in the next few months. 55% of all US adults support same sex marriage. Heck even the fact that about 40% of Republicans and 28% of Conservative Republicans support it is much higher than a decade ago.

  5. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    yeah but this people seem to think Russia has the worst when they are crying pot keetle black
    they should should protest or make their statements first closer to home, Kansas, Arizona even Canada
    or better pick on Uganda were they just approved the Gay Criminality law, anyone gay will be thrown in life imprisonment
    Nobody is saying Russia has the worst. They're obviously not Uganda. But say "Oh well at least we're not Uganda." is ridiculous deflection.

    If you were punching somebody in the gut and when they protested you said "Hey, stop complaining, it's not as bad as if I were punching you in the face.", should they simply accept your abuse?

  6. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    yeah but this people seem to think Russia has the worst when they are crying pot keetle black
    they should should protest or make their statements first closer to home, Kansas, Arizona even Canada
    or better pick on Uganda were they just approved the Gay Criminality law, anyone gay will be thrown in life imprisonment
    I have never understood the logic of this argument. I didn't make the laws in Kansas or Arizona, nor do I support them. Why should I keep my mouth shut because those laws exist? People from all sorts of repressive countries, such as Venezuela, criticize the United States all the time. Should they keep quiet because their heads of state are not sufficiently enlightened?

    Actually, there have been several recent examples of countries whose people's situations improved exactly because "nosy outsiders" made a fuss. The most notable one is South Africa. People all around the world protested apartheid for years, and they probably were the only ones who could, because black South Africans had no voice at all. They didn't even have the vote. I'm sure that pro-apartheid people spent a lot of time saying that outsiders should improve their own countries first...then South Africans could continue their unjust system without interference. Isn't it nice that no one listened to them.

    It's doubtful that anyone thinks that Russia is "the worst" on this issue. But Russia wants to be taken seriously as a mature world power. Why would it want to measure itself by a regressive country like Uganda in any way at all?

  7. #142
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    Entertaining topic, I like it. Russia sucks tho.

  8. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I have never understood the logic of this argument. I didn't make the laws in Kansas or Arizona, nor do I support them. Why should I keep my mouth shut because those laws exist? People from all sorts of repressive countries, such as Venezuela, criticize the United States all the time. Should they keep quiet because their heads of state are not sufficiently enlightened?

    Actually, there have been several recent examples of countries whose people's situations improved exactly because "nosy outsiders" made a fuss. The most notable one is South Africa. People all around the world protested apartheid for years, and they probably were the only ones who could, because black South Africans had no voice at all. They didn't even have the vote. I'm sure that pro-apartheid people spent a lot of time saying that outsiders should improve their own countries first...then South Africans could continue their unjust system without interference. Isn't it nice that no one listened to them.

    It's doubtful that anyone thinks that Russia is "the worst" on this issue. But Russia wants to be taken seriously as a mature world power. Why would it want to measure itself by a regressive country like Uganda in any way at all?
    A lot of statements are made based on the lack of the actual information. Many commentators take as facts what their media tells them. There is no gay discrimination in Russia - my good friend rose to the very top of the corporate ranks and everyone knew he was a gay and lived with a year long partner. Half of our show biz are gay and are enjoying themselves. It's like when one of my acquaintances defected to the US with a J-1 visa (2 year return requirement) and seeked help among the Russian chapter of 7th day adventists to testify that "she had been oppressed". The adventist guy whom I know said: "we are oppressed here only in buses like everyone else". Yes, our government was stupid enough to draw the international attention with the new laws some of which like the adoption law were quite stupid. Yes, there is a lot of corruption here - no sense to argue. But there are no "white" countries - everyone has its shade of grey. On the other hand there are/were "black" countries where some policies like apartheid or killing women with stones for sitting in a car with men cannot be considered normal by any civilized standard. Give me one example of such "black" policies in Russia. For mr not letting gay parades and limiting gay and any sexual propaganda in schools does not cross the line.

  9. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by samkrut@mail.ru View Post
    A lot of statements are done based on the lack of the actual information. Many commentators take as facts what their media tells them. There is no gay discrimination in Russia - my good friend rose to the very top of the corporate ranks and everyone knew he was a gay and lived with a year long partner. Half of our show biz are gay and are enjoying themselves. It's like when one of my acquaintances defected to the US with a J-1 visa (2 year return requirement) and seeked help among the Russian chapter of 7th day adventists to testify that "she had been oppressed". The adventist guy whom I know said: "we are oppressed here only in buses like everyone else". Yes, our government was stupid enough to draw the international attention with the new laws some of which like the adoption law were quite stupid. Yes, there is a lot of corruption here - no sense to argue. But there are no "white" countries - everyone has its shade of grey. On the other hand there are/were "black" countries where some policies like apartheid or killing women with stones for sitting in a car with men cannot be considered normal by any civilized standard. Give me one example of such "black" policies in Russia. For mr not letting gay parades and limiting gay and any sexual propaganda in schools does not cross the line.
    True, people really do not realize that this "anti-gay law" as the US calls it just has no effect because if it did then really all of Russian show business would be shut down. Everyone knows that these actors/singers are gay but by some magic concert tickets are still sold out. How would that be possible if Russians were so anti-gay?

  10. #145
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    I think that everyone who is not somehow from the Russian Federation (ethnic Russians or citizens of the Russian Federation who are not ethnic Russians) should read Brian Heiss' White Paper before commenting on Russia's "anti-gay" law. There are some cultural aspects that Heiss doesn't fully understand, but it is a good starting point for non-Russians who want to talk about LGBT rights in Russia.

  11. #146
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    I'll throw it right back at the three of you. It's obvious to me that none of you are LGBT or else you wouldn't be so friggin' cavalier about how everything is peachy dandy about relegating LGBT people (yes, people, with the same emotions and hopes and dreams as the rest of humanity) to the closet. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

    And just how many of those Russian show biz stars would still have a career if they came out of said closet?

    If there is no gay discrimination in Russia why is there a law to forbid the mere mention of it if a minor can see/hear it?

    Denial. It's not just a river in Egypt.

  12. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post

    If there is no gay discrimination in Russia why is there a law to forbid the mere mention of it if a minor can see/hear it?
    The law stipulates "propaganda" and "the obtrusion of the information" to the minors. It never speaks about just mentioning. The penalty is a fine from $100 to $10,000. I have not heard that these penalties have been ever applied to anyone - would be a big outcry. So much for the fuzz then. Then one can read the above-mentioned white paper to see yet another time that the U.S.A. is the biggest expert in PR and marketing, which are sometimes just the window-dressing for the real issues which are there but which few are willing to discuss. Well, to blame Russia is way easier.

    The follow-up to the law this year is the ban to use curse words in the publicly shown movies, again to protect the people, first of all minors. Strange or "strange" - no outcry from the West this time. Freedom of speech is no longer a basic value?

    And one more thing. Not sure if it proves anything but the Cannes Palm D'Ore 2013 La vie d'Adèle was shown in the movie theaters in Russia for 2 months. Of course, it was NC-17 like everywhere else. But everyone of legal age could watch this "non-traditional sexual relations propaganda". I watched together with my wife, and we enjoyed it because the movie is strong and emotional. And we did not care that these emotions came from the LGBT's standpoint.

  13. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by samkrut@mail.ru View Post
    The law stipulates "propaganda" and "the obtrusion of the information" to the minors. It never speaks about just mentioning. The penalty is a fine from $100 to $10,000. I have not heard that these penalties have been ever applied to anyone - would be a big outcry. So much for the fuzz then. Then one can read the above-mentioned white paper to see yet another time that the U.S.A. is the biggest expert in PR and marketing, which are sometimes just the window-dressing for the real issues which are there but which few are willing to discuss. Well, to blame Russia is way easier.

    The follow-up to the law this year is the ban to use curse words in the publicly shown movies, again to protect the people, first of all minors. Strange or "strange" - no outcry from the West this time. Freedom of speech is no longer a basic value?

    And one more thing. Not sure if it proves anything but the Cannes Palm D'Ore 2013 La vie d'Adèle was shown in the movie theaters in Russia for 2 months. Of course, it was NC-17 like everywhere else. But everyone of legal age could watch this "non-traditional sexual relations propaganda". I watched together with my wife, and we enjoyed it because the movie is strong and emotional. And we did not care that these emotions came from the LGBT's standpoint.
    Good for you. Human emotions are human emotions. Lord knows LGBT have been watching--and learning from--similar emotions from straight people and straight books and straight magazine articles and straight songs and straight plays and straight television shows all our lives--without screaming that we're having "straight propaganda" shoved down our throats. And frankly it is straight propaganda. Funny thing, though. All that straight propaganda...hasn't turned me straight. Still, a good story is a good story, no matter who or what the characters are.

    But unless you are gay and have grown up gay, you have NO CLUE how damaging this propaganda law is. I'm not even going to get into how utterly ridiculous it is to think that it is going to change anyone's sexuality. And enough with the anti-American bs please. You have a remarkable ability to ignore all the times when people like myself and Olympia have been critical of legally-encoded bias in US law, or the horrors of homophobic witchhunts in too many other areas of the world.

    If you look at history and study coups and revolutions, the two institutions that are always subject to censorship are educational systems and mass media. Because information is power. Silence doesn't make the problems go away. Silence=death.

  14. #149
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    So I've read the white paper, and alas, I'm not quite as persuaded as others on here seem to be.

    First off, there have indeed been arrests made under the new propaganda law:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/po...aganda-law-for
    http://theadvocatespost.org/2014/02/...e-lgbti-youth/
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...n_4737521.html

    The "propaganda" being propagated? In one case two activists held a banner which said, "Gay propaganda doesn’t exist. People don’t become gay, people are born gay.” In another, "Being gay and loving gays is normal. Beating gays and killing gays is a crime!” One man was arrested simply for waving a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay. So yes, I think I'm not all that far off the mark when I say you can indeed be arrested under the new law for simply "mentioning" that hey, being gay is a normal state of affairs. We're not talking porn films being run for teenyboppers.

    If you want to know how gay teens in Russia actually feel about the law and the environment in which they live, read about Elena Klimova, 25, founder of a social media support group for LGBTI teenagers called “Дети-404. ЛГБТ подростки. Мы есть!” (Children-404. LGBT teens. We exist!). On January 31, 2014, Russian authorities launched proceedings against Klimova for violations of the propaganda law. As far as I have been able to make out, the case is still pending and attempts are being made to shut the site down. This is particularly troubling because Russia as a whole has the highest rate of teen suicide in Europe, and the second highest rate of teen suicide in the world: http://www.unicef.org/ceecis/Adolesc...mmary_2011.pdf Unfortunately it doesn't seem like statistics are kept about how many of those suicides are by gay youths. Gay teens have a notoriously high rate of suicide/suicide attempts worldwide.

    Yes, the US has more recorded hate crimes. They always rise when a minority group makes social progress (NYC has had a surge of them the last year or two, as more and more states have legalized LGBT marriage). And it's always under-reported. Always. And I would bet good money it's under-reported in Russia as well.

    Something the white paper does not mention about the Stoli boycott. It took that boycott for the parent company, despite all of its LGBT-targeted advertising and sponsorship, to extend the same benefits package enjoyed by their heterosexual employees and their families to their LGBT employees. I'd call that a success.

    The biggest issue I have is with his assertion that what is "really" fueling the focus on Russia is US media companies wanting to tap the Russian market. While I'm sure that is the case, there are some pertinent facts Mr Heiss omitted from his white paper. The most credible source for LGBT involvement in US media is GLAAD. According to GLAAD: "At the launch of the 2012-2013 television season, GLAAD estimates that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) scripted characters represent 4.4% of all scripted series regular characters on the five broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, and NBC." Which means that 95.6% of television characters are either not given a sexual orientation at all or are heterosexuals. 95.6%. [http://www.glaad.org/publications/whereweareontv12]

    And it's even worse for movies. "Out of the 101 releases from the major studios in 2012 [note: the 6 major Hollywood studios released 76.4% of all US films that year], 14 of them contained characters identified as either lesbian, gay, or bisexual." Some of them were onscreen for mere seconds. And no film from a major Hollywood studio contained a transgender character. [http://www.glaad.org/files/GLAAD_2013_SRI.pdf]

    I think it's fair to say that Hollywood does not lack for product to market in Russia that contains no "non-traditional relationship" propaganda. And Hollywood has been in a similar situation before. Prior to the civil rights movement in the 1960s, major Hollywood studios would often release two versions of films, with racial minorities conveniently "edited out" of versions that played in the American south. I wouldn't be surprised if a similar thing happens in Russia, with LGBT characters and content edited out of tv shows and movies targeted for the Russian market. I'm not saying that the US media doesn't have a stake in seeing that propaganda law repealed, but by failing to mention the reality of just how small the LGBT presence actually is in American media he makes it appear that the issue is much bigger than it is.

    But the biggest problem of all, at least in my opinion, can be summed up in a quote from the white paper itself, and I believe is worth quoting at length:

    As Christopher R. Leslie, Assistant Professor of Law at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, wrote in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review:
    Sodomy laws exist to brand gay men and lesbians as criminals. Social ordering necessitates the criminalization of sodomy, thereby creating a hierarchy that values heterosexuality over, and often to the exclusion of, homosexuality. This symbolic effect of sodomy laws is not dependent on their enforcement. Even though very few men and virtually no women ever suffer the full range of criminal sanctions permitted under state sodomy laws, these statutes impose "the stigma of criminality upon same-sex eroticism."

    Whether the propaganda law is enforced or not, just the mere fact it exists tells you that discrimination against "non-traditional relationships" is alive and well in Russia and, more importantly, has the backing of the government. Official stigma. Nothing like having your own government tell you in so many words that if you are a LGBT minor you better not talk about it or show it. Great burden to put on kids.

    I'd call that discrimination.

  15. #150
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    I understand, you are much deeper in the topic now. I just want to reiterate that my gay friend was a top manager in one of the largest Russian companies - he never hid that. Borya Moiseev is by far one of the most outspoken showmen here. I am not a fan but my wife drew me to a concert. One of his acts was: "Mama, I am different". Looked like he had troubles in the childhood. Well, in the Soviet Union homosexual behavior was a crime. But now he enjoys himself big time. As for the Olympics, it's a big noise out of nothing. Any person attracting any attention (say, "down with Asad!") would be apprehended. The security was tough to make it the safest event possible. But in general I would agree that the Russian population at large is not ready yet to think of the LGBT people as "normal". I would not name it discrimination though.

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