Now that the charade of Phil Robertson’s pretend suspension is over, homophobes nationwide can rest assured that their “right” to spread hate is preserved and the corporate sponsors of Duck Dynasty will profit handsomely.
Meanwhile, another television star in another land told his audience that he would love to burn gays in ovens. In the same land, Neo-Nazis lure gay teenagers and young men for “dates” that involve torture on video and up-loading the video to YouTube in the hope of “outing” the gay person to their school, friends and family. Of course, it isn’t merely about the humiliation of being outed. It’s more about leaving the implementation of a ‘final solution‘ to others.
Being outed in a small city or village in Russia very often means death,” says Larry Poltavtsev of the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, a Washington, DC-based advocacy group for gay rights in Eastern Europe. “Exposed teenagers may commit suicide, or they’ll be harassed by your peers, their parents may kick them out of their house. It’s a nightmare.
Not surprisingly, the Russian government looks the other way as Russia’s Neo-Nazis traumatize LGBT teens, with many of them committing suicide. It isn’t surprising that Neo-Nazis see these laws (and the hateful rhetoric by Russian lawmakers) as permission for their method of cleansing the gay away. As noted by The Foreign Policy Initiative,
Thugs operating under the banner of an internet-based group called “Occupy Pedophillia” have taken to luring gay men via the internet and ruthlessly torturing them on camera, producing horrific Youtube videos. In May, two men in Volgograd brutally murdered a 23-year-old named Vladislav Tornovoi, allegedly after he revealed to them that he was gay. Tornovoi’s assailants have argued that their crime was an act of self-defense against a predacious homosexual – echoing the rhetoric of Russian officials. “The latest laws against so-called gay propaganda… have essentially legalized violence against LGBT people, because these groups of hooligans justify their actions with these laws,“ Igor Kochetkov, of the Russian LGBT Network, told the Guardian earlier this year. “With this legislation, the government said that, yes gays and lesbians are not valued as a social group.
One can point to the fact that Russia is so different from the United States. After all, we don’t lock up people for criticizing the government, as occurs to critics of Putin and his “favorite project.”
We don’t have anti gay propaganda laws. We have conservatives who oppose anti-bullying laws because they suppress a homophobe’s right to bully a member of the LGBT community straight.
However, many Religious Right activists want to derail efforts to combat bullying. An increasing number of conservative leaders and organizations have fiercely opposed anti-bullying programs developed by schools and education groups for the sole reason that such programs identify and attempt to combat the widespread bullying of LGBT youth.
Conservatives also have a long policy agenda that is decidedly anti-LGBT because it is part of the equally long established ALEC agenda.
Our corporatists stigmatize the gay with publicity stunts. It’s so much more humane and best if all the followers fall for it. If some of those followers “interpret” Phil Robertson’s comments or those of other conservatives as permission to bully, assault or kill someone who is gay or “looks” gay, conservatives can always say it isn’t their fault someone took their message the wrong way.
The President responded to Russia’s persecution of people based on sexual orientation in classic Obama style. The diplomatic snub, combined with sending highly accomplished members of the LGBT community to represent the United States at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, is admittedly a high end version of protest. Moreover, part of being Liberal in this country means defending the LGBT community’s rights. We’re damned for it by conservative “Christians” because LGBT rights are something that threatens the “values” espoused by the Tea Party in the same way that Neo-Nazis in Russia feel threatened.
The approach may be different, but the message and objectives are the same. When they aren’t invoking fear of Russia’s influence on matters like Syria, conservatives hero worship Putin for his anti- gay “propaganda” laws, and probably applaud the neo-Nazis for doing their bit to scare LGBT teens straight. They’re also hoping you won’t notice that the original Nazis, like their succcesors, were just as anti-gay as the Tea Party and other “conservatives.” After all, connecting those dots would reveal the hubris of their Liberalism is Nazism meme.
Image: Peacock Panache