24 February 2012
Source: Coming Out
Public hearings on the draft law prohibiting the so-called propaganda of "sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism" as well as pedophilia to minors, proposed by Russia's ruling party United Russia, took place in St. Petersburg city parliament today and turned into a celebration of ignorance, incompetence, and hate.
Information about the hearings appeared on the official website of city parliament one business day before the event. Procedures for applying to attend or speak at the hearings unclear, selection criteria - never published. As a result, the audience was filled with 150 members of clerical and Russian nationalist organizations. On the right side of Milonov, a young man, administrator of the official city parliament group in vkontakte (http://vk.com/komzakonspb) Alexander Mokhnatkin, sported a T-shirt with slogan "Orthodox Christianity or Death!", recognized as extremist by the Russian Federation.
Audience was handed out a document titled "Statistics on homosexuality" with three main theses: "homosexuals spread infections", "homosexuals lead perverted lives", and "homosexuals commit many crimes." After presentations by 5 experts who pointed out the legal, psychological, sociological incompetence of the proposed legislation, the floor was taken by "experts" in favor of the bill, speaking about the perverse and sinful nature of homosexuality, calling for forced treatment or isolation of gays, audience responding with insults and calling gay people perverts, faggots, and subhuman. Speeches by Russian nationalists drew loud and prolonged applause. Several mothers of gays and lesbians broke down in the atmosphere of open hate and emotional violence and had to leave.
"I was very much reminded of the films I saw about the beginnings of Hitler Germany. At times I was scared for my life," says Marina Melnik, proud mom of a gay son.
"Every time period has its Dark Age characteristics, and Russia is entering the Dark Ages of 21st century," says Lev Scheglov, PhD of medicine, sexology, and member of National Academy of Juvenology. "If this law is adopted, we can safely say that Russia abolished decades of psychology, sexology, psychiatry. These sciences do not exist, and scientists should find other jobs"
Next Wednesday, February 29, is the expected date of the 3rd and final reading of the bill by city parliament. LGBT activists now target the city governor, Georgiy Poltavchenko, who will have 10 days to sign the law into effect.