The Russian LGBT Propaganda Law criminalizes the distribution of material promoting “non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors. The decree’s understood goal is to discourage minors from viewing homosexuality as “normal behavior”. It is also a roundabout way of restricting public acknowledgement of the LGBT community. In essence, the Russian government is erasing the existence of any LGBT element from their country’s culture. With this legislation they are saying that they do not stand behind their LGBT citizens. People are not being allowed to live their lives, openly, proudly, and without fear. And while the law does not criminalize same sex relationships or relations, it has ignited a surge of violence against LGBT Russians. There is a legitimate fear of being persecuted for who you are if your ideals don’t fit into the country’s ideas of “traditional values”.
As a nation, we need to reach out to our Russian LGBT brothers and sisters and offer them asylum within the United States. No one should have to live in a country whose government doesn’t respect who they are. How do you live your life according to a set of laws that don’t protect who you are or accept how you love? What about the next generation of Russians that will grow up without exposure to all the different beautiful forms of human love and expression? How about the gay and lesbian Russian youth who will not see themselves reflected in the world around them? The invalidation, the perpetuation of silence and intolerance, enrages me. I want to give these people a voice.