Russia has tightened its so-called “LGBT anti-propaganda law,”

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.


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.



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.


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.



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.

RUSSIA CONTINUES TO HUNTFor 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’.


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.



The Battle of Largo

Council when one of its members stated publicly how surprisingly well the presentations went.
Speaking on behalf of FORGE were many including Janice Carney and Dr. Kathleen Farrell with the latter brining a round of applause from the pro-inclusion side.
On the day of the city council meeting each speaker came up to the podium and presented their case
either for or against GLTB inclusion. One by one, of what seemed like an endless train of people, each
stepped up and supported their positions. This process continued until shortly before 11PM at which
time the presentations ended and the voting began. Though the arguments strongly
favoured the pro-inclusion side, the vote was to not be in favor of inclusion.
In a surprise decision one key council person changed her mind and decided to vote against the HRO. Commissioner Charlie Harper started the push for a citywide human rights ordinance – and,
in the end, he voted against it. In the weeks following the vote, editorials, articles and other commentaries from both the media and general public criticized Largo for its By; Bobbie Vazquez No Largo is not a distant country or perhaps some dark place in middle earth near Mordor. Rather Largo is a mid-size city in Pinellas county . None the less, Largo was also a place in which a battle took place for basic human rights. With battle lines drawn between the religious right, local businesses, FORGE and its allies rallied around the call for human rights. The primary objective was defined to secure the basic human rights for the GLTB community. The preparation for this effort began several days before the actual battle. A preparatory meeting was held where members of FORGE and pro-inclusion Largo citizens met at Christ the Cornerstone Church. While at Christ the Cornerstone Church the attendees participated in discussions of strategies and practiced presentations. Von New from Florida Equality had provided a class with mock presentations. Each presenter was critiqued on their presentation and given input from the audience as to how improvements might be made. Later this effort would be recognized by the City direction concerning the human rights ordnance. Some writers even cited the similarities of the human rights struggles in the early sixties and how it parallels the current struggles.
Though the battle of Largo was lost, the pro-inclusion forces did win a victory in Largo . On Sept 30 2003 the St. Petersburg TIMES reported that a police officer was placed on paid leave for making a racial slur. The investigation came on the heels of several other examples of racial incidents in Largo. Earlier, in November 2002, a Fire Department Lieutenant was terminated for making a similar racial slur. With a weak employee policy being a potential legal and financial liability to the City began to revise it’s policy to include providing a safe work environment for transgender individuals. On
Oct 7 the revised internal employee policy was passed 7 to 0 for affording protections to transgender employees. Perhaps this was the first step towards a complete HRO.