Russia recently banned this meme of Putin in makeup that many were using to advocate for gay rights. In recent years, while the LGTBIQ community in the United States have seen some victories while still facing challenges and efforts to roll back their rights, sexual minorities have been experiencing ever-increasing oppression in such disparate places as Uganda and Russia. This is not a coincidence. As the Christianists have lost ground in the United States, they have exported their anti-gay agenda.
This week, news came out about concentration camps in Chechnya–think about that. Russia has passed legislation against gays, Uganda criminalized homosexuality and nearly passed a death penalty for homosexuality though we held off by pressure from Europe and the United States. Scott Lively is currently being sued for crimes against humanity for his role in advocating the repressive Ugandan actions, including advocating the death penalty for gays. He was also active in advocating for anti-gay legislation in Russia. National Organizations for Marriage president Brian Brown went to Russia to advocate a ban on gay adoptions and taking biological children away from gay parents. Brown is also trying to export his virulent anti-gay hatred to France, colluding with French far right political groups such as Dies Irae. Jack Hanick of FOX News is another anti-gay evangelist who has traveled to Russia to spread his homophobia, but also wants to import Russia’s authoritarianism to the US.
So what can we do now that our fellow Americans have traveled the globe to export their brand of hatred? We can support the organizations who fight them such as Sexual Minorities Uganda, the LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey, the Russian LGBT Network, or more generally, supporting the work of Human Rights Watch. You can do things like playing around with this image of Putin, mixing it up and making your own meme against homophobia. You can show support by making no place safe for the hate-mongers, not even fashion posts. Continue reading