Mothers of gays and lesbians in St Petersburg, Russia have allegedly written a letter urging lawmakers to reject an anti-gay bill banning the “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism” to minors. Under the proposed legislation, “promoting homosexuality will be punishable by fines ranging from 5,000 rubles ($168) for individuals to 500,000 rubles ($16,800) for legal entities.”
In the letter, the mothers claim that gay and lesbian Russians face significant stigma and that “[m]any of them end up on the verge of suicide, because there is no one they can talk to about their feelings.” “Children must be enlightened, not scared. Homophobia is laughable in the 21st century,” the mothers write. “Russia’s task is to destroy homophobia and help children and their parents who face this situation.” But Russian leaders are dismissing the correspondance as a “fake” and claiming that the mothers are not setting “a good example for real mothers”:
“There have been several of these letters,” Vitaly Milonov, deputy of St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly, told RT. “I suppose all of them were written by the same person. And I don’t think these were mothers. And I do not even think this to be a good example for real mothers – those who face this, I can even say, tragedy. The author of these letters says that we are offending the gay community. I do not care about offending the gay community. No one cares; they present no danger to the society. We just try to protect kids from gay lifestyle propaganda.”
Watch an RT segment on the letter:
The world community — including the United States, Australia, and the Members of the European Parliament — have condemned the bill, which has passed two of three readings. St Petersburg would join three other cities in Russia with a law that makes it an offence to promote “sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality, and transgender” to children.