While people would imagine that the whole of Russia shares the same anti gay sentiment as its pres Vladimir Putin, there are some people who don’t.
Maria Maksakova, a Russian Member of Parliament, and also a famous opera star, publicly spoke out against the country’s draconian anti-gay law which was passed in June.
Following the ban on homosexuality, gays and their advocates were attacked and humiliated in broad daylight by several vigilantes.
Read More: Why Do Russians Hate Gays?
Maksakova told a meeting of the ruling party that such anti-gay propaganda was causing “colossal” damage to Russia’s reputation. The video (below) is in Russian language but the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post have provided independent translations of her statements.
“We are seeing extremely negative consequences as the result of this law with the growth of hate crimes,” she said. “Our country has suffered a colossal loss to its image around the world.”
A part of the anti-gay legislation reportedly deems it illegal to "disseminate information about non-traditional sexual behavior” to minors. Referring to this particular clause, Maksakova said:
"I’m not against our family values, but couldn’t we take 'non-traditional' out of this law through amendments? And expand the law, so that any harmful propaganda of a sexual character to minors became inadmissible ... foreigners don't see anything past the word 'Non-traditional' and the Russian artists trying to work abroad can't just explain that this is not discrimination, but instead the public's attempt to protect the children. Once they see this first line of the law, they are not all curious to see what the law is really intending to convey."
In addition, Maksakova touched upon the furor earlier this year that demanded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) relocate the Winter Olympics to Vancouver, Canada.
“I am very sad to see that the Olympic Games in Sochi for which we have so long and anxiously prepared will come to pass with less brilliance and passion because of this unfortunate initiative that was so hastily — and I believe without thoughtful discussion – adopted by parliament,” she said.
Maria Maksakova is probably one of the few and first politicians to publicly slam the anti-gay law in Russia. Do you think her suggestions will fall on deaf ears given the fact that President Vladimir Putin has made it clear there is no room for homosexuality under his regime?