Silencing in Russia

Political leaders in St. Petersburg are about to vote on law that will make it illegal for any person to write a book, publish an article or speak in public about being gay, lesbian or transgender. The ruling party led by President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin could make millions of people invisible with the stroke of a pen.

 

Go here to sign a petition.

4 thoughts on “Silencing in Russia

  1. Well, the petition is directed to “world leaders”, who might be in a position to do such things, rather than at the sponsors of the legislation, which I agree would be fairly useless.

    The New Yorker had a piece on this legislation. As is too often the case, the petition does not come across as super well informed (or perhaps it is being intentionally hyperbolic). The legislation would impose fines for ““public actions aimed at propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgenderness amongst minors”, so while it is clearly ill-defined and would chill and put at risk a whole host of expression, it’s not the case that it would “make it illegal for any person to write a book, publish an article or speak in public about being gay, lesbian or transgender.”. Nor would it “eliminate” anyone’s freedom of expression, though it would burden it. Finally, the municipal law would only apply to Saint Petersburg (a city of less than 5 million), so even if it were capable of rendering anyone “invisible”, it would presumably not do so to “millions”.

    The US government and other governments have already publicly criticized the proposal, so good for them.

    Also, I can’t be sure this is the source, but I think I might have picked up a piece of malware via the link in the opening post.

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