Masha Gessen is a prominent journalist who is also a lesbian and an outspoken LGBT rights advocate in Russia. She and her partner and children left for New York following the anti-gay laws that affect LGBT families. Today on Fresh Air she discusses consequences of these laws:
What [the anti-gay propaganda law] means is that any portrayal of LGBT people, LGBT relationships and LGBT families is now illegal in Russia if it’s accessible to minors, which of course is a problem for LGBT families because we are ourselves examples of LGBT families and are by definition accessible to minors who live in our own homes.
So the natural consequence of these laws is a campaign against LGBT parents which began with the second law, … which is a ban on adoptions by same-sex couples or single people from countries where same-sex marriage is legal. … It’s not just new adoptions, it can be used retroactively to annul adoptions that have already taken place.
… It’s Putin’s effort to shore up his constituency around this very vague but very potent idea of traditional values — the Russian family, the orthodox religion — and against the West. Nobody represents the alien West in Russia better than LGBT people do.
Part of the reason for that is because there was never any conversation about sex and sexual orientation in Russia. While the Western world was having the sexual revolution, we were having the Soviet Union. So this is really the first time that issues of sexuality, as absurd as that sounds, have been brought up in the public arena in Russia.
image via the huffinton post