An eminent Russian sexologist Igor Kon has stated his alarm due to the growth of homophobia in Russian society. In the last few months, many Russian politicians, religious leaders and artists have spoken out with appeals to limit the rights of sexual minorities. Academic Igor Kon sent Gay.Ru a large article "Homophobia as a Form of Xenophobia." In the article he deliberates the reasons for the spate of homophobia in Russian society in the early 2000s.
Academic Igor Kon
Igor Kon discusses the role of Russian Orthodoxy and Islam in the decline of tolerance in society. He believes that Officials facilitate homophobia. "If a religious dogma is placed higher than the Constitution - don't ask, for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for you!" - the exceptional scientist emotionally writes regarding religious leaders' efforts to impose middle-aged laws on the Russian secular state.
"If a church calls something a sin, it has that right. Those who don't agree with this assessment can choose another church. The 'privatization' of God has been unsuccessful up to this point, in spite of the number of attempts. But when politicians and Government Officials use this sort of language, it is a clear encroachment on the freedom of worship and citizens' rights not only for individual minorities, but for the whole populace," writes Igor Kon.
"The attitude towards homosexuals is an ideal litmus test for the measurement of democracy and social tolerance. During Soviet times, the strip was scarlet with blood. Today it's red with embarrassment," notes the scientist.
Translation by Timofey Grishin
October 29, 2005
Academic Igor Kon Talks about Gay Pride in Moscow
Representatives of more or less well-known Russian GLBT organizations and media have declined all responsibility for conducting Gay Pride with only mostly western figures showing any support for it.
Professor Igor Kon
Article 121 was not aimed just at homosexuals. The authorities frequently exploited it for dealing with dissidents and for augmenting labor camp sentences.