When Sasha understood that she was a lesbian, she knew many challenges lay ahead for her in Russia. But nothing prepared the young woman for the possibility of social services taking her child away. A new bill, however, could soon make this a reality for the estimated 2 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Russians who authorities believe are raising children. "I'm scared," says Sasha, who lives in St. Petersburg with her longtime partner, Marina, and Marina's 3-year-old biological son. "I'm scared our family will be violated."
The draft law, which comes on the heels of controversial legislation banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," would make homosexuality a condition that can lead to parents losing custody over their children. If passed and signed into law, it would put homosexuality on a par with drug addiction and child abuse.... The bill was submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament, earlier this month and is expected to go through its first reading in coming weeks....
[Yelena Kostyuchenko, a prominent Moscow-based journalist and gay rights activist], predicts that the legislation, like most initiatives penned by United Russia, will sail through the Duma. LGBT parents, she adds, are already fleeing the country or relocating to locations in Russia where their sexual orientation is not know. "After this bill was announced, almost all homosexuals are leaving. Those unable to go abroad move to other Russian cities," she says.
Once again: a top Russian diplomat in the United States asked the city of Seattle for its official position on his country's anti-gay laws—does the city of Seattle condemn them?—and the Seattle City Council refused to give him an answer because that would've meant working with the mayor on a joint resolution. Russian queers are living in fear, going into hiding, being abducted and assaulted, fleeing the country... and our supposedly gay-friendly city council (and its two gay members) can't be bothered to answer a direct yes-or-no question about their plight. Appalling.