Russian politicians are beginning to squirm under international scrutiny around their anti-gay legislation, but not enough yet to change, a prominent gay journalist told NBC on Friday.
A campaign of anti-gay hate reminiscent of fascist propaganda has been consciously promoted by the Kremlin in the last couple of years, and represents a reversal of progress, said Masha Gessen, an openly lesbian Russian author and journalist. “Things have gotten significantly worse,” she said. “I mean, Russia was never a gay paradise … but Russia was moving in the right direction.”
For the last year and a half things have been moving backwards, punctuated by the new laws criminalizing “gay propaganda” which can be interpreted so broadly as to criminalize wearing rainbow jewelry. Gessen is considering fleeing Russia, she said, in part because members of the Russian parliament have been discussing a legal change that would allow the Russian government to remove children from gay parents. Gessen has three children.
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