MOSCOW, January 28, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Russian government has outflanked opponents from the homosexualist lobby furious over the prohibition on promoting the “gay lifestyle” by proposing to expand the law to include promotion to children of any sexual activity outside natural marriage. The existing law makes it a crime to promote “non-traditional” homosexual relations to children and young people under 18.
Changes to the law, submitted in the Duma on Friday, propose to remove the term “non-traditional” sexual activity, and change the wording to a prohibition on propagandizing of any sexual relations among under-aged children and of the idea of a “priority of sexual relations” on children’s minds, Itar-Tass reported Sunday.
The bill cites the increase in sexual activity among teens as well as the need to protect children from information “damaging to the values of family life, the spiritual and intellectual development of minors.”
In the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics, that will run from February 7th to 23rd, Russia has come under a siege of media attacks from the west over the law. This week, the BBC interviewed the mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov, who said that anyone is welcome who “respects the laws of the Russian Federation” and who does not try to “impose their habits – and their will – on others.” Unnamed “critics”, the BBC’s John Sweeny said, have called the law “draconian” and complained that it “effectively outlaws gay rights protests.”
Notably, many of the news stories covering the BBC’s Panorama interview with Pakhomov left out of Pakhomov’s quote about imposing “their will”. The Yahoo Sports News coverage carried the quote as, “Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who respects the laws of the Russian Federation and doesn't impose their habits on others.” This edited version of the quote has been picked up by other sports and news services, including Bleacher Report and the CBC.
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But the issue of “imposing the will” of the homosexual lobby on the general population is a key issue in the debate. Supporters of the Russian law have pointed out that the increasing suppression of the right of freedom of expression in many western European countries, including the UK, has been a cornerstone of the work of the homosexualist movement.
In response to the barrage of attacks from homosexualists and their supporters in the media and politics, the Russian Federation has this month submitted a report to the EU forcefully criticising EU rights policies that, they say, have given rise to a culture of oppression for anyone who opposes the new sexual mores and allowed the growth of ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi movements.
The report accuses the EU of “the dissemination of their neo-liberal values as a universal lifestyle for all other members of the international community.”
“This is particularly evident in their aggressive promotion of the sexual minorities’ rights,” the report said. “Attempts have been made to enforce on other countries an alien view of homosexuality and same-sex marriages as a norm of life and some kind of a natural social phenomenon that deserves support at the state level.”
While the international western media, led by the BBC, carries the story in ominous tones of “persecution” of homosexuals in Russia, the government and Russian Olympic officials have repeatedly stated that visitors coming to enjoy the games, no matter what their “orientation,” are welcome.
Former Olympic ice-skating champion Svetlana Zhurova, now an MP and honourary “mayor” of the Olympic athletes village, told a press conference, “Of course there’s the Olympics and the Charter says no discrimination is allowed, so why should we, the organizing and host nation, violate the Olympic Charter?”
Zhurova, who voted for the law, said, “Everything will be absolutely fine, peaceful. There was never any problem for gays or (lesbian) girls at any Olympics and there will be none this time either.”
Konstantin Dolgov of the Russian foreign ministry said in an interview with The Voice of Russia, “There is absolutely no discrimination of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans] community in Russia as such. There definitely are some incidents, but incidents happen everywhere.”
But he added at a press conference at the EU that the focus of the Olympics must be sport, not politics or social engineering: “If a skater is planning to come as a member of the Olympic team not to compete, but to fight against a law in the host country, it is very bad. It means that this particular skater does not respect Olympic principles.”
Meanwhile, homosexual activists continue to stir the pot, organizing demonstrations in Brussels denouncing Russia, and demanding that the EU halts visa negotiations until the law is overturned.