Siberian MPs to vote on law that would allow gays to be publicly flogged by Cossacks for their ‘disgrace’
- ‘Our district needs law that would give paratroopers right to grab gays on the street,’ said Ultra conservative MP Alexander Mikhailov
MPs in Siberia are to vote on a new law which would allow homosexuals to be flogged publicly as a punishment for their ‘disgrace.’
Ultra conservative MP Alexander Mikhailov says the new law would allow Cossack paratroopers to drag gays off the street for their punishment.
‘I want to call on people to get a healthy perspective of this disgrace,’ he told local media.
‘Our district needs a law that would give paratroopers the right to grab gays on the street and drag them to the city square, where Cossacks would whip them,’ he added. Critics say that Mikhailov’s bill is unlikely to be passed.
But some are worried that it could gain support in Russia’s current anti-gay backlash that has led to laws allowing judges to jail people for ‘promoting’ homosexuality.
In another move that will broaden Russia’s rift with Western nations over gay rights, its politicians passed a bill today barring same-sex foreign couples from adopting Russian children.
The move saw strong signals of support from President Vladimir Putin.
In power since 2000, Putin has championed socially conservative values and held up the Russian Orthodox Church as a moral compass since he weathered a wave of protests by mostly urban liberals and started a third Kremlin term last year.
He has rejected U.S. and European criticism of a ban on spreading gay ‘propaganda’ among minors that the Duma passed earlier this month that gay rights activists fear has fuelled attacks on homosexuals.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement on Thursday that the ‘propaganda’ ban could stigmatise gays and cause discrimination, and the United States has said it severely restricts freedom of expression and assembly.
The Duma vote to ban adoptions by same-sex couples from abroad came as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has criticised Putin over civil rights, met him at a showcase Russian economic forum in St Petersburg.
Germany has also condemned the gay ‘propaganda’ ban and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who is gay, said after its passage that attempts to stigmatise same-sex relationships had no place in a democracy.
Putin says Russia does not discriminate against gays, but he has criticised them for not adding to Russia’s population, which has declined sharply since the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991.
The same-sex adoption ban was rushed through parliament after Putin said in late April that a new French law allowing same-sex marriage went against traditional Russian values. It also bars adoptions by unmarried foreigners from countries where same-sex marriage is legal.
The ban fits into a Kremlin campaign to restrict foreign adoptions, a sensitive issue after Americans and Europeans flooded into Russia in the post-Soviet era to adopt children.
In December, Putin signed a law banning all adoptions by Americans, a move motivated by disputes with Washington over human rights and what Russia says is the insufficient prosecution of adoptive U.S. parents suspected of abuse.
Advocates of adoption say same-sex couples can provide loving homes for children who might otherwise founder in Russia’s troubled system of orphanages. Relatively few Russian couples adopt despite state efforts to promote the practice.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 15 countries, including seven in Western Europe, and in some jurisdictions in the United States and Mexico. Same-sex couples are not recognised under Russian law and cannot adopt.
A March poll by the independent Levada Centre found that 85 per cent of Russians opposed same-sex marriage. But there is no big grassroots movement against gay rights in Russia and critics say the measures are being imposed from the top down.
‘It’s pretty strange to see this major wave of homophobia in a country where two-thirds of society was brought up by same-sex couples – mother and grandmother,’ one Internet user said in an online forum, referring to the problem of absentee fathers.
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