Russia’s anti gay posture is inflaming the public in the United States as well as internationally, creating a loud voice calling for boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics is Russia which is gathering speed. Let’s not forget the call Foan vodka dumping parties worldwide. Already bars have stopped serving Russian vodka to protest Russia’s stance on homosexuality.
Without a doubt, the United States and Russia are experiencing a difficult moment in what has been a historically strained relationship. The Edward Snowden affair has exacerbated, what was already mounting tension between Moscow and Washington. What Russia is doing posses a question: Is it Russia’s willingness, or unwillingness, to confront Obama with Snowden that is creating a problem that might have long lasting consequences?
In a recent article posted on CNN.com, the growing fury follows concern sparked by the Russian Parliament’s overwhelming support for a new law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations around minors.”Implemented last month, after President Vladimir Putin signed it into law, it bars the public discussion of gay rights and relationships anywhere children might hear it — and has been condemned by Russian and international rights groups as highly discriminatory. As Russia prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in the resort city of Sochi, there is also great concern about what the legislation will mean for gay athletes and visitors to the country. According to the same article, the controversy was stirred when Vitaly Milonov, a St. Petersburg politician, recently implemented a local, earlier version of the propaganda law in his city. “If a law has been passed by parliament and signed by the president, the government has no right or powers to reverse it,” Milonov told the Russian Interfax news agency. He repeated the comments when he spoke with CNN on Wednesday.
Already a Human Rights watchdog has described the anti-gay propaganda law as “a profoundly discriminatory and dangerous bill that is bound to worsen homophobia in Russia.” It is clear that under the pretense of protecting Russian children, the law will infringe on people’s rights to free expression and discriminate against Russia’s LGBT community, it said, as the bill was being debated. The move should be set against a backdrop of increased attacks in Russia on members of the LGBT community and gay rights activists, it pointed out.
These two issues might provoke a squaring off between Russia and the United States, only time will tell what happens. But already in the United States voices are rising to a louder on pitch both topics: Snowden and Gay Rights.
A petition was set up Friday on the White House’s “We the People” website is calling on the United States Secretary of State John Kerry, to place Milonov and member of parliament Elena Mizulina on a “visa-ban-list” for their role in promoting anti-gay legislation. According to CNN: Mizulina was “responsible for the federal law banning gay ‘propaganda’ to minors and for the law banning foreign adoptions of Russian orphans by gays and lesbians,” the petition states.
It had more than 5,500 signatures as of Thursday. Another White House petition, with a few hundred signatories, calls for a U.S. boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics “due to discrimination by President Putin against LGBT.” If either petition reaches a threshold of 100,000 signatures within 30 days, the Obama administration will review and respond to it.
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