Russia Does Not Heart Pussy Rioters Or Gays

Russians seem to love authoritarianism.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the czarist, Communist or modern variety.

The latest flavor is different only in degrees.  Czar Vladimir, like his spiritual predecessors, has embraced God, specifically the Russian Orthodox Church, as a convenient enforcer.  Protest band Pussy Riot learned this the hard way.  From Masha Lipman at The New Yorker:

In her tedious three-hour reading of the sentence, Judge Marina Syrova repeated the same absurd phrasings that were heard from the prosecution during the hearings. The Pussy Riot women, who are all between twenty-two and thirty, were convicted for violating “conceivable and inconceivable rules”; for “emphatically vulgar” and “deliberately provocative” gesturing; for “crossing themselves in a parodied way;” for their clothing, “inappropriate in a church”; and for other acts that “offended the feelings of religious believers.” The thirty or forty seconds they performed in an almost empty church were characterized as a premeditated act of criminal hooliganism, a grave violation of public order.

The Russians’ treatment of LGBT citizens is just as bad.  The news about Pussy Riot overshadowed this tidbit:

A city court in Moscow Friday upheld a decision to ban LGBT pride parades for the next 100 years. The decision affirms a Moscow municipal government ruling banning public gatherings that could be classified as gay pride marches from March 2012 until May 2112.

At her recent St. Petersburg concert, Madonna, who was outspoken in her defense of Pussy Riot, defied another new law banning gay political action.  Now she’s being sued.  I was never a huge fan of her music, but I’m a big fan of her.

As a child of the Cold War I was raised on the evils of the Soviet Union.  I celebrated with the rest of the world when the USSR came tumbling down.  And I suppose that things are somewhat better for many Russians now.

Just don’t tell that to the LGBT community or the members of Pussy Riot.

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