Despite the attention that Vladimir Putin is receiving over his recent anti-gay policies, there is still, very much, a massive problem for homosexuals living in Russia. The severity of the issue has gone from alarming to outrageous. It is crucial to incite a major change in Russia's policies. These laws and bills are seedlings which will inevitably expand as long as they are allowed to.
While many people are aware of the anti-gay sentiment, I strongly believe very few people are aware of the degree of persecution that homosexuals in Russia are subject to by both police officers and citizens alike. While going over collections of photographs collected during recent gay pride parades and marches in Russia, I immediately grasped the scope of the horror they live in.
The first sets of photographs depict a peaceful gay pride celebration that took place in 2012. As one continues to look through the photographs, pictures of the same event show civilians punching gay activists. Other pictures show police officers using brutal force on peaceful gay activists, and eventually gay activists are detained while the violent anti-gay protesters remain free. More pictures of the same event show anti-gay protesters angrily shouting at the gay activists, while one protester holds a whip in his hand, threatening violent behavior.
Another gay-pride celebration in Moscow shows a gay activist being punched in the face, while police surround him. It clearly shows the police doing nothing to prevent the violent attack. Another picture shows an older man, likely in his sixties, choking a gay rights activist. The police, again, arrest and detain the gay activists. Another photo of the same event shows authorities in military outfits taking down rainbow flags that are being held by gay activists.
The photos get more appalling for each event. The police officers seem to target only the gay activists while the violent protesters continue to their assault. There are photos showing gay activists covered in blood while they are being attacked. The anti-gay protesters disrupt the gay pride celebration events in groups wreaking havoc, brutally attacking gay activists, pelting them with rotten eggs and dragging them across the streets. Even more disturbing is not the lack of protection from the police for the activists, but the fact that the police condone the assault and often join the violence.
As an observer looking over these photographs, it is difficult to avoid resemblance of what Germany's early Nazi policy was like. More laws are being passed which prevent acknowledgement of homosexual equality. Furthermore, the violence against the homosexual community continues with impunity. If this tragedy continues, it is that the homosexual communities will eventually grow fearful of violence and persecution. Homosexual equality will then be delayed further and there will be less opposition from the media. The less attention this matter receives, the further Putin's campaign is likely to expand. As countries with interests in international policy and the possible economic effects of Russia's policy, we must act promptly.
To see the pictures, click on the link below.