No protection in Russia’s anti-gay law

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One wonders what Donald Morrison (Letters, 26 August) thinks children are being “protected” from by the Russian parliament.

They will not be protected from any of the discrimination and persecution that has seen Russian gays beaten in front of police, forced into “rehab”, or murdered.

Nor will it protect them from the day-to-day bullying and harassment that never makes the news.

As with the odious Section 28 our own homophobes once gave us, the vague wording of the Russian legislation makes it impossible to disseminate factual information, or to counter prejudice, without the bigots labelling it “propaganda”, with dire consequences for some hapless individual.

It is not homosexuality Russian children need protecting from.

It is ignorance, prejudice and hate, exactly the things that motivated this vile law, and which it seeks to perpetuate.

(Dr) Stephen Moreton

Marina Avenue

Warrington, Cheshire

Further to Donald J Morrison’s excellent letter regarding Russian attempts to protect its children, I would add that Russia is usually portrayed as being behind the West in accepting unchristian practices like homosexuality.

In fact it’s far ahead of the West.

These supposedly liberal “advances” are part of the process of secularisation in which “the state sets a principle of secularity, independent of any outside authority”, including moral authority, and then “preconditions” the people to accept it.

Russians embarked upon this with the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.

After 70 years it left them with the highest suicide, abortion, divorce and alcoholism rates in the world.

They yearn for a return to the old moral order, namely Christianity. They also know where the West is headed, and they don’t want to go back there.

Martin Conroy

Oldhamstocks

East Lothian

Perth and Kinross Council is the only Scottish council to twin with a Russian city, Pskov, and not speak out against the new Russian law backed by extensive lobbying from Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, against “homosexual propaganda”.

All of our requests to do so have been ignored.

With regard to homosexuality, the bilious rhetoric of Christian and political leaders, whether they are protests against decriminalisation, equalising the age of consent, relaxing laws on gay erotica or “protecting children”, the result is always the same: they vindicate the actions of thugs.

There has been an upsurge of arrests, beatings, kidnaps, suicides and murders of gay people in Russia.

Unsuspecting young people are traumatised after being lured by personal ads on VK.com – the Russian equivalent to Facebook – before being filmed, bullied and tortured.

Police are arresting hundreds of LGBT people who demonstrate while the mobs sing hymns, cross themselves to ward off evil and chase and beat victims with virtual impunity.

A 5,000-strong mob in Tbilisi, Georgia, led by priests of the Orthodox Church, were baying for the blood of LGBT people protesting against homophobia, screaming “trample them to death” as they waved their religious icons and bunches of stinging nettles. The mob proceeded to throw stones and beat on the windows of buses laid on to help gay people escape.

The campaign in 2000 to retain Section 28, a law against “homosexual propaganda” similarly resulted in attacks on homosexuals.

It was a time when intellectuals who protested were discredited, posters were erected across Scotland denouncing homosexual practices, newspapers illustrated homosexuals’ distinguishing features, the media spread rumours of “homosexual cliques” and an “international conspiracy”.

Windows were smashed at a gay centre, there were beatings, suicides and a spate of murders as the campaign went nationwide. Never again.

GARRY OTTON

Scottish Secular Society

Broughton Street

Edinburgh

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