In the last decade, the movement for the rights of LGBT people has won important battles in many countries, especially in the West. So much so that even the Catholic Church, especially thanks to Pope Francis, has softened its position against the collective. However, in other latitudes, such as the Middle East or Russia, the outlook is much more bleak.
Recognition of the rights of the LGBT community has been growing gradually, especially in much of Europe and the United States, as well as several Latin American countries, such as Uruguay. Equal marriage, recognition of non-binary identities and, in general, the promotion of a culture in which different sexual and gender identities are not taboo, has been a welcome change.
READ MORE: “RUSSIA HARDENS ITS ANTI-LGBT POLICY“
But while the opening occurs on one side of the world, the other becomes increasingly radical in more conservative and homophobic positions. For example, Russia has tightened its so-called “LGBT anti-propaganda law,” which virtually prohibits any activity that is supposed to promote a sexual orientation other than straight.
The POPE: BENEVOLENT TO THE LGBTI COMMUNITY
Pope Francis has reiterated that although the Catholic Church cannot allow sacramental marriage between same-sex couples, it is not opposed to civil unions and that the criminalization of the collective in many countries, including Russia, of course, cannot be ignored.
The pontiff assured that homosexual people are also children of God, and that he does not condemn them since criminalizing these acts is an injustice. Likewise, he assured that the LGBT community cannot be marginalized.
READ MORE: “PANSEXUAL AND BISEXUAL DIFFERENCE“
According to Pope Francis, the catechism does not indicate that same-sex attraction was not a sin, although what he calls “homosexual acts” is. Although the distinction is still significant and not entirely welcoming to the LGBT community, it is, if nothing else, a sign that times are changing…or not.
RUSSIA CONTINUES TO HUNT
Despite the fact that in theory, homosexuality in Russia has not been prohibited since 1993, President Vladimir Putin has been hardening his speech (and the force of the law) against the group. In December 2022, the “anti-LGBT propaganda” law xnxx, which has been approved since 2013, includes new crimes.
The Law already prohibited disseminating information on sexual differences to minors, but now it is not possible to talk about the subject to adults, nor “praise” so-called “non-traditional” relationships. Because the legislation is extremely vague, almost any activity, such as dragging or holding hands in public, could be punished and fined.
For LGBT activists, these changes respond to Putin’s need to divert attention from the war in Ukraine, as well as further differentiate himself from the West. On the other hand, the law has already led to the censorship of series, films and books with LGBT themes, such as the HBO series, ‘The White Lotus’.
READ MORE:”THE BATTLE OF LARGO“
Although Russia is one of the toughest countries to be gay, it’s not the only country with discriminatory laws. According to data from ILGA World, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, 66 UN member states continue to criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations.
As we can see, the freedom that a person part of the LGBT community has will depend on the place where they live. While in the United States, President Joe Biden has signed federal protections for the collective, in Russia and 65 other countries, all that remains is underground.