Russian law on homsexuality

As it relates to the Russia, in particular the recent law enactments regarding the homosexuality, is that it creates the social problem and reflects homophobic attitudes that have been significant against the LGBT community.  As of late there is an increased presence of the LGBT community, throwing concern over to the ousting of some individuals and the retaliation from the general community.

Originially the lack of discussion on sexuality stems from the soviet gulag.  But many artists authors paint homosexuals as relating to the loss of virility.  Putting homosexuals into two camps, young men who have become enamoured of western ways and turn to homosexuality as a fashionable and older influencial men who pray upon those younger men.  Overall, Russian saw conversations about sex having its origins in western culture and are thus to blame for its alien influences.  But with Putin, there was a rapidly shirking birth-rate and in order to increase, he needed to use traditional family values [Healey 2010].  The relation to the ban on homophobia is not that much of a stretch.  “gay marriage, and gay pride parades are denounced as un-Russian, a danger to the birthrate and to morality, and adherence to reforms like these—and the visibility of homosexuality they herald—increasingly distinguishes “Europe” from “Russia” as political constructions.   A cultural battle is underway to establish how far an open homosexual identity is compatible with Russian citizenship” [Healey: 211]  British Communist Harry Whyte’s question to Stalin about the status of the homosexual in 1934, and ask, “Can an open homosexual be considered a person fit to be a citizen of the Russian Federation?” [Healey: 211].  Although homosexuality became decriminalized in 1993, they were still used as a scape-goat for anything.  And in combination with the church’s hostile attitude towards homosexuals and the Russian authorities denying “registration to gay civil rights organizations “on moral grounds.” In the electronic media they are usually portrayed as caricatures or in hostile ways” [Kon: 20].  Through the new Russian laws that ban homosexual propaganda there is much that can be considered propaganda such as holding hands, walking with your family, what would not be considered propaganda?  Because their very lifestyle has become illegal, although the act has been decriminalized, there is no offered support, no services and no programs.  This allows problems within the community to magnify and to be held up as an example of gay life.  With an increased nonchalant take on homosexual life in Russia, this law is at odds in how it was created.  But it does correlate to a change in Russians thinking towards homosexuals as more othered and with increasing violence and distaste.


Healey, D. (2010). Active, Passive and Russian: The National Idea in Gay Men’s Pornography. Russian Review, 69(2), 210 – 230.

Kon, I. (2010). Homophobia as a Litmus Test of Russian Democracy. Russian Social Science Review, 51(3), 16 – 37.


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One response to “Russian law on homsexuality

  1. This is an interesting – though brief – post. Good work.

    Question: How should Canadian researchers, activists, and citizens respond to this development in Russia? During our class discussion about this topic, several speakers argued that this was ultimately a Russian matter, and a reflection of Russian values, implying that the international community really had no business intervening? Is there a socio-legal theory or concept that we have explored that provides a strong justification for intervention and solidarity? Or, alternatively, is there a theory that we have studied that supports that ‘It’s their business’ view?