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Russias Fertile Grounds for Homophobia

Published: March 20, 2013 (Issue # 1751)




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For Vitaly Milonov, a deputy in the St. Petersburg legislature and author of the law against homosexual propaganda, his meeting with author and gay activist Stephen Fry on Thursday was, in his words, fascinating, like contact with an alien civilization. Milonov is probably the only regional politician in Russia with nationwide name recognition. Now, his nonstop war against Russian homosexuals has given him worldwide notoriety.

Milonov is like that broken clock that is right twice a day. His comment about an alien civilization is, in fact, true. Fry comes from a world where an openly gay man could be asked by the BBC to do a documentary film on homosexuals in the developing world. According to Milonov: The authorities should think about the socially valuable population and not about the problems of perverts, like AIDS. Fighting against sodomy is an essential public health measure.

For Milonov, the universe isnt a comfortable place. In his version of Star Wars, the battle of good and evil is being won by evil, especially in the West. Milonov has asserted through Twitter that in Europe sodomites have taken over the mass media. By modern European standards a Christian family is less desirable than a sodomite colony. He also wrote that Britain has been destroyed by liberalism.

But the rest of the world is also in danger. After the death of the Great Hugo [Chavez], Americans want to execute another color revolution, Milonov tweeted, and that the gray smoke of fire and brimstone seeps through every crack of the Internet.

Milonovs world wasnt always so black and white. He began his political career in the early 1990s as a libertarian and published books about libertarianism in St. Petersburg. Then he followed the path of the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. Milonov had his first revelation when he was an aide to a State Duma deputy for the now-defunct Christian-Democratic Union. Apparently, Milonov had a vision that he couldnt enter Russian politics with libertarian views so he quickly seized onto religion, first joining the Baptist Church. Shortly before Vladimir Putin came to power in 1999, Milonov had another vision and converted to the Russian Orthodox Church. As a twice born-again Christian, he was elected to the St. Petersburg legislature.

But if Apostle Paul stopped his persecution of dissidents after his revelation, Milonov got started with persecution after his. He has been the author of the virulent law against gays in St. Petersburg and gained global notoriety for trying to bring the singers Madonna and Lady Gaga to court for their performances in his home city. He thanked the prosecutors office for banning the child-free groups on the Internet and demanded that these creeps be prosecuted and isolated from society.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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