Thursday, December 23, 2010

Russian Judge Protests Strasbourg Ruling

A judge of the Constitutional Court of Russia has criticized a Strasbourg ruling calling Russia's ban on pride parades in Moscow a violation of the rights of the country's sexual minorities, implying that the events were banned for their organizers protection, not to violate their freedom of life or expression. More on the judge's comments can be found here.

Much of modern Russian society is strongly homophobic as well as racist and minorities of any variety face a variety of challenges in everyday life. Some progress has been made since the collapse of the USSR, but when I studied in central Russia in late 2006 my friends from Malaysia, Kenya, and other ethnically distinct regions were afraid to go out in public alone or even in pairs for fear of being beaten or killed. The treatment of women is also atrocious, being much closer to the norms of 1950s America than 21st century Europe.

I disagree with the judge's statements in principle, but the audacity of Moscow Pride's organizers amazes me still. Russia and Russian society have a long, long way before being non-Russian will be acceptable, much less being gay or lesbian...

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