Church seeks referendum on gay relationships

2014-01-10 22:48
A Russian gay rights activist holds a poster protesting against homophobia.  (File, AFP)

A Russian gay rights activist holds a poster protesting against homophobia. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Moscow - Russia's powerful Orthodox Church on Friday proposed a referendum on banning gay relationships, despite Western pressure over human rights ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The proposal came in response to a growing Russian debate over whether the Kremlin should mount a stronger defence of traditional values in the overwhelmingly conservative country in the face of pressure from Europe and the United States.

Church spokesperson Vsevolod Chaplin pointed to polls showing more than a third of Russians view homosexuality as an illness as a sign that the country was ready to revert to a Soviet-era homosexual ban.

"There is no question that society should discuss this issue since we live in a democracy", Chaplin told the online edition of the pro-government Izvestia daily.

"For this reason, it is precisely the majority of our people and not some outside powers that should decide what should be a criminal offence and what should not", he said.

Excluded from society

High-profile celebrities and sports stars have already urged athletes attending the 7-23 February Olympic Games on the Black Sea coast to show their support for Russia's lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) community by flashing protest signs at the event.

The call came after President Vladimir Putin last year signed controversial new legislation that made it a crime to promote a same-sexual relationship in front of minors.

Chaplin, known for his outspoken views but also an influential member of Russian religious community who airs weekly shows on state TV claimed that most countries viewed homosexual relationships as a crime.

"I am convinced that such sexual contacts should be completely excluded from the life of our society", said the Church spokesperson.

"If we manage to do this through moral pressure, all the better. But if we need to revert to assistance from the law, then let us ask the people if they are ready for this."

The Soviet Union criminalised homosexual relationships in 1934 at the height of Joseph Stalin's repressions that saw millions die in labour camps.

Post-Soviet Russia repealed the ban in 1993, but gay rights remained under strong pressure.

Read more on:    sochi olympics  |  vladimir putin  |  us  |  russia  |  gay rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
49 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Mobile Applications Developer – Cape Town

Cape Town
E-Merge IT Recruitment
R400 000 - R500 000 Per Year

HR Generalist

Western Cape
Bathopele Talent Factory
R450 000 Per Year

Call Centre Agents needed (inbound)

Cape Town
Purple Door Recruitment (Pty) Ltd
R4 000 - R6 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R4300.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.