Russia gay law creator scorned by activists

2013-09-27 10:11
Vitaly Milonov. (Olga Maltseva, AFP)

Vitaly Milonov. (Olga Maltseva, AFP)

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

Moscow - Vitaly Milonov, a Russian lawmaker has become a hate figure for gay rights activists after introducing a hugely controversial law into the local parliament outlawing "gay propaganda".

Once passed by the former imperial capital, the law was picked up by deputies in the federal lower house of parliament the State Duma and passed nationwide and was signed into law by President Putin in June.

But activists say the law can be used for a broad crackdown against gays in Russia and the controversy has created a huge headache for the Kremlin which has faced calls for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Article 6.21 of the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses allows the government to fine individuals accused of the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations amongst minors.

More explicitly policymic quotes Article 6.21 as saying "Propaganda is the act of distributing information among minors that 1) is aimed at the creating nontraditional sexual attitudes, 2) makes nontraditional sexual relations attractive, 3) equates the social value of traditional and nontraditional sexual relations, or 4) creates an interest in nontraditional sexual relations."

But Milonov remains defiant in the face of the furore and makes no secret of his views about UK actor Stephen Fry who has called for Russia to be stripped of its right to host the Games and led an increasingly visible Internet campaign.

"For me Stephen Fry is a bringer of evil, as he expresses ideas which are evil," Milonov told AFP in an interview in Saint Petersburg.

Milonov and Fry became arch enemies after the two men held a face-to-face meeting in Saint Petersburg in March and have traded insults through the media ever since.

Fry is an implacable critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he once memorably said looked like Dobby the House Elf from the Harry Potter books.

'We don't have to apologise'

Despite the outcry sparked by the adoption of the law both in Saint Petersburg and nationwide, Milonov sees no harm in what he describes as "preventative" legislation.

"It's a declaration of our values, our response to the challenges of the present time."

"Thank God that we have Putin, who defends the basic interests of Russia, for defending its values," said Milonov, saying that Russia "needs to resist the wave of degradation that has seized the Western world."

"I do not know why we have to apologise in front of Westerners. The preaching tone that they adopted in this area does not suit us."

The law orders fines for individuals and organisations deemed to have violated the law, and, unusually, also singles out foreigners who risk fines of up to $3 106, detention for 15 days and deportation.

Many commenters believe Russia underestimated the international reaction to the law, which now risks overshadowing the Sochi Winter Games, the biggest event in its post-Soviet history.

But Milonov, who describes himself as a "man of European culture" defends the law as part of a promotion of family values in Russia and the protection of children.

"We have to defend the future of our children," said Milonov, who has children aged four and one.

He railed against the legalisation of gay marriage in some European countries, describing it as a "symptom of an illness in society, a spiritual degradation".

"95% of Russians are against gay marriage. Gays do not have any support in Russian society."

"We could say that paedophilia is a sexual choice we could say that murder is one way to survive. But truth is truth and we cannot change the way things are. Homosexuality is not normal, I'm sorry."

Milonov's rants against homosexuals would see him outcast as an extremist in European societies but in Russia they fall in line with an increasingly conservative political trend.

President Vladimir Putin this month put the gay propaganda law firmly in the context of Russia's shrinking population, implying that Russia wanted to avoid encouraging homosexuality in order to bolster the birth-rate.

"Russia and European countries have a big problem, the birth rate is low, Europeans are dying out. Same-sex marriages do not produce children," Putin said at a meeting of the Valdai discussion club.

Read more on:    stephen fry  |  vladimir putin  |  russia  |  gay rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! 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

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...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.