Russian Parliament Rejects Move to Criminalize Gays
April 2, 2004
By Malcolm Thornberry, 365Gay.com Newscenter, European
Moscow—A bill that would have
made gay sex punishable by up to five years in prison has been killed in
The legislation was proposed by the chairman of the
People’s Deputy group of MPs Gennady Raikov, who is chairing the
parliamentary commission for ethics in the Duma, or Russian parliament, and
the incumbent mayor of Nizhny Novgorod Vadim Bulavin.
In proposing the bill they said it was at restoring
public morality and the family. Both men are on the extreme right in Russian
politics. Testifying before the committee on legislation they said blamed gays
for an increase in HIV/AIDS in Russia, despite prior statements from health
authorities that most new cases were among intravenous drug abusers.
They also said that most Russians agree with them that
homosexuality is “unnatural”. Using some of the most homophobic language
heard in the Duma in nearly a decade they blamed gays in Russia fro everything
from the collapse of the economy to the rise of organized crime.
Homosexuality was illegal under the old Communist regime,
but was decriminalized after the Soviet Union collapsed.
The commission members said the Russian Constitution
guaranteed immunity of private life and confidentiality of family affairs.
Raikov and Bulavin left the meeting saying would would
return each session of the Duma to keep trying to get homosexuality declared a
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