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Public Disgust With Russia Scores An Unexpected Gay Rights Victory

by Jean Ann Esselink on August 16, 2013

in International,Jean Ann Esselink,News

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World opinion may not have swayed the Russians to end their discrimination against their gay citizens, but it appears it has had an effect in Armenia. Yesterday the national police withdrew the bill they had submitted that would have banned any public endorsement of “non-traditional sexual relationships”.

Police claim they drafted the amendment to Armenia’s Code of Administration Offenses in response to letters of concern from citizens objecting to any public display of homosexuality. They claim they never planned to crack down on gay Armenians, pointing out the change that they requested would simply fine those who publicly support homosexuality, including mentions on TV. (And not a small fine, either, up to $4000 for each instance.)

According to an Armenian news site, Chief of Police  Vladimir Gasparian insists the bill was not withdrawn because of outside pressure. He claims it is just not a priority for police at this time. Human Rights Groups, including Pink Armenia, think otherwise,  convinced the world reaction to Russia’s similar law is what caused the police chief to have a change of heart – or maybe just cold feet.

Withdrawal of this bill is a major relief for the beleaguered Armenian gay community. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Armenia in the 1990s, but very few protections exist for LGBT citizens, and hostility against gays is rampant. Now, the challenge will be to keep the police from reintroducing the bill when the Olympics are over and the world’s attention moves elsewhere.

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{ 4 comments }

Str8Grandmother August 16, 2013 at 11:36 am

Good! I hope ALL these Hater Countries sit up and pay attention!
All those other sporting evens planned for Russia including I think a NASCAR race is scheduled ALL should be pulled.

LOrion August 16, 2013 at 11:57 am

So that's how he did it, Scott Lively promoted letter writing campaigns by 'concerned citizens' to get laws passed.
Well get on it folks time for ALL LGBT human right supporters to write THANK YOU letters to Armenia!

LOrion August 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm

….expanding on the above. Well get on it you folks with AVAAZ, CHANGE, CARE2, CAUSE time for ALL LGBT human right supporters to write THANK YOU letters to Armenia and all other countries, especially in Europe and Eastern Europe who support Gay Rights. Let them know you care!
Send me links, I will sign and forward around.

thomasoutt August 16, 2013 at 11:04 pm

It just plain stinks what the Russian government is doing to all people of the world. If you pull down one group for discrimination, you pull down everyone, and end up creating a world of fear-based thinking. No one can thrive under those circumstances. Permitting the policies promoted by Putin just lead to needless pain & suffering for no reason at all.

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