Leave Russia Alone

Backbencher January 31, 2014 2
Leave Russia Alone

Left-wing activists who focus on gay rights in Russia overlook far more illiberal homophobia in other countries, argues Jack Wharton.

On the BBC’s Andrew Marr show recently, Vladimir Putin gave an interview to selected members of the western media. Call me naïve, but despite the strange format, this rare exchange seemed frank and honest.

Putin, despite supporting his government’s intolerable law banning ‘homosexual propaganda,’ made some valid and thought-provoking points. Why, he asked the assembled journalists, were human rights activists and LGBT lobby groups so obsessed with his country?

After all, as Putin observed so correctly, it is not illegal to be gay in Russia.

Not only that, but the leadership of a group of neo-Nazi thugs, responsible for a series of infamous homophobic attacks – videos of which went viral online – have been forced to flee the country, after being pursued by the Russian authorities.

Yes, the culture of homophobia emanating and disseminating from and through Russian social and political institutions is more than distasteful; it’s sickening. But, unlike in many other nations all over the world, the Russian State at least grants its gay citizens their most basic civil rights.

Homosexuals in Russia are free to live together, sleep together, vote, teach, work and as Putin pointed out, it is illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace, passing them up for promotion for example, because of their sexuality.

It’s true that the ‘anti-propaganda’ laws are having a chilling effect on the lives of gay and lesbian people in Russia. Undoubtedly, the Russian State must do more to ensure that the civil rights Putin speaks of are truly enforced on the ground.

But, as Douglas Murray so rightly said, ‘reserve your anger for the people who don’t just want to stop me marrying, but want to throw me off a cliff.’ Forget Russia. Why is there such a palpable absence of fuss from left-wing activists about the plight of gay people in the Middle East?

One word… Islam.

Why is there such a palpable absence of fuss from left-wing activists about the plight of gay people in the Middle East?

To the same left-wing activists that lambast “anti-gay” Russia, the gay rights records of Islamic countries seem merely an afterthought. In Saudi Arabia, for example, homosexuality itself is illegal and punishable by the most cruel and unusual form of execution – stoning. In Qatar, lashing and imprisonment are the sentences handed down for partaking in any form of homosexual relations.

Perhaps even more worrying, last year it was announced that all Gulf Co-operation Council countries had agreed to establish some form of ‘testing’, in order to ban gay foreigners from entering any of their countries.

Yet there are few calls to boycott international sporting events, and even fewer for an economic boycott.

The only controversy surrounding Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is the month in which they plan to stage it. Left-wing activists seem far too busy calling for a boycott against Israel, the only liberal and gay-friendly state in the entire Middle East Region.

This is moral relativism of the worst kind – a sinister form of societal masochism – with mainly white and largely Christian countries held to an overwhelmingly higher standard than others.

The mind-set of these activists is perverse. It’s fine to hate gays, unless you’re a Christian. As for Jews…. just don’t be Jewish, full stop.

Let me be clear: I am, obviously, no supporter of homophobic laws. But I am equally against left-wing pressure groups consistently targeting the low hanging fruit, whilst ignoring the bigger issues and the more sinister perpetrators, simply to reconcile their collective middle- class conscience.

Even their ‘protests’ against Russian homophobia are as idiotic as their logic.

Attempts to boycott Russian vodka are nothing more than a trivial and demeaning stunt, perpetuating the nonsense stereotypes about the lifestyles and priorities of gay people that these same LGBT pressure groups claim to be so against.

Attempts to boycott Russian vodka are nothing more than a trivial and demeaning stunt.

These efforts are made even more useless when you consider the fact that the venue in which they are drinking is probably heated and powered in substantial part by imported Russian gas.

Instead of gimmicks, advocates of LGBT rights should focus on the superiority of Western beliefs in the inalienable rights of all people, challenging any and all religious or social doctrines that threaten individual rights, across the world, wherever we find them.

We must destroy the multicultural dogma that allows some countries to do vastly more ghastly things than others, whilst remaining shielded from criticism by political correctness. Unless we are willing to condemn everyone equally, we should leave Russia alone.

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