Russia’s Fertile Grounds for Homophobia
Published: March 20, 2013 (Issue # 1751)
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 isn’t 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.
Milonov’s world wasn’t 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 couldn’t 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 prosecutor’s 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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