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May 27, 2006

ночь разрушенного стакана

So much for freedom and progress in Russia:

Police and nationalist protesters forcefully prevented Russian and foreign gay and lesbian rights activists from rallying Saturday in Moscow, where they had hoped to put on a display of gay pride despite the city government's vehement refusal to grant permission for a parade.

...But police had closed the entrance to the garden where the tomb is located, and as the first half-dozen activists arrived carrying flowers, they were set upon by about 100 religious and nationalist extremists dressed in black who kicked and punched them.

"This is a perverts' parade," said one protester holding an icon of the Madonna, a woman who gave only her first name, Irina. "This is filth, which is forbidden by God. We have to cleanse the world of this filth."

As a Green member of Germany's Bundestag, Volker Beck, was giving an interview before TV cameras, about 20 nationalist youths surrounded him and pummeled him, bloodying his nose. Volker Eichler, a gay activist from Berlin who witnessed the beating, said police did not intervene.

City authorities cited the potential for violence as the primary reason for banning the parade. But they also voiced disproval of the very idea of gay rights.

Read the whole thing.

Huh, nationalists and religionists fighting together in a battle waged as part of a perceived culture war, and effectively supported by the government... where have I heard that before?

(Note: I have no idea if the Russian means anything close to what I intended; for all I know it could say "Eat at Shoney's")

Update: For those who think the comparison is over-the-top, of course it is. However, when the religious right nutjobs constantly refer to this as a culture war, as a battle for the heart and soul of America, as standing up to evil and protecting the land, then don't weep when I point out where such a mindset can lead.

I've already had a run-in with one gay-hating whackjob who, if she had her druthers, would probably love to give Irina above all the help she needs. These idiots exist, and they are fueled by angry rhetoric and ugly ideologies; words have meanings and impact, and when you call something a war, don't be surprised when someone wants to be a little soldier.

Now, everyone go and enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. I am.

Posted by Andy at 12:24 PM





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