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« The Strange Story of Conspiracy Literature Found at the Tsarnaevs' Home | Main | Joshua Foust Pretends to Change Course on Russia »

August 16, 2013


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"Now, they've invented this situation with sexual minorities," he said, using a common euphemism for the LGBT community..."

Is the LGBT community not defined by sexuality? Yes, it is. Is it not numerically a minority? Yes, it is - fewer than 10% of Americans are actually gay in what its own citizens reckon to be a pretty tolerant society. Why, then, is "sexual minority" a euphemism, with all that term implies? In fact, it is exactly accurate, and not a "euphemism" at all.

"But why do we have to accept that calling for a boycott harms gays or does nothing or gets everyone's back up?"

Yes, where would anyone get that idea? Perhaps from Mozaika, the NGO which represents the Latvian LGBT conmmunity, where Stolichnaya Vodka is actually made. The vodka boycott was short-lived and silly, but it lasted long enough for Mozaika to make this point - "This campaign will only harm Latvia, Latvia’s economy and employees of the company Latvijas Balzams. It could also backfire and have unintended negative consequences for the extremely fragile LGBT community in Latvia.

The distiller has 600 employees and Mozaika hopes to work with them in the future – perhaps when Riga hosts EuroPride in 2015. All this could be undone by the boycott."

That sounds very negative to me, I'm afraid. Straight from the lips of the gay. And it's quite believable, don't you think? After all, as soon as you start to mess with a country's economy, you could potentially hurt a lot of people. If you do that in the name of gay rights, who are the first people the rest of the population hurt by the boycott will look to, and blame? That's right; the domestic gay community.

You could argue for a higher principle, I suppose, and probably will since you loathe Russia so deeply that you do not care if Russians totally unrelated to the gay-rights tempest-in-a-teapot would be hurt; after all, they're still Russians, right? Where's the downside?

"Is there some kind of time-lapse on Russia that it has to cook slower than any other country? Why?"

Homosexuality was actually legal in Russia, nationwide, 10 years before it was in the United States of America. And it remains illegal in some American states, thanks to sodomy laws. You might suggest homosexuality is not illegal in those states, only sodomy. But if you were to buy an island and advertise it as a gay haven in which homosexuality was strictly protected, but just no sodomy allowed, I don't think you'd get many takers. Not gay men, anyway; no sodomy kind of takes all the fun out of being gay for men. The age of consent in Russia, for homosexual or heterosexual relations, is 16 while it is 18 in some U.S. states. And it used to be 14 in Russia; it was raised owing to American caterwauling that Russia was a hotbed of child-trafficking. In that respect, Russia is actually a good deal more permissive than the Great Beacon Of Freedom.

Catherine Fitzpatrick

"Sexual minority" is indeed a euphemism -- and one with a pejorative edge -- because it stresses the minority status of people to make them second-class citizens. That's why it's wrong.

I don't think 10% is an accurate figure, especially if you calculate the number of people who have had same-sex experiences -- it is not a hard and fast category for everyone.

I didn't support the boycott of Stolichnaya, I usually don't support commercial boycotts like that because I think they usually are designed by leftists to assault capitalism, not really solve the issue at hand.

But it does not appear that Stolichnaya suffered much from a few bars in New York demonstratively pouring out a few bottles. It did not amount to much.

I don't "loathe" Russia. I loathe oppression and tyranny in Russia. And no one can show that any Latvians or Russians have been harmed by this boycott, economically or in any other way, it's ridiculous.

Who cares if homosexuality was once legal in Russia and even remains tacitly allowed? It's about a backlash now and we all get it. It doesn't matter if Russia is somehow more permissive in its age for crimes. You're grasping at straws as you always are.

Alex K.

Mark: whatever sodomy laws still remain on the books were invalidated back in 2003 by Lawrence v. Texas. They are unenforceable.

This is not a "gay-rights tempest-in-a-teapot." There is more to the ban on homosexual "propaganda to minors" than a crowd-pleasing slap in the face of the gay community. This is also a free speech issue. Any discussion of alternative sexuality in the mainstream media can be blocked under the new law. Recall that the Duma had passed a similar law banning information "harmful to minors" a few months before it went after "gay speech." The two laws are dangerous censorship tools in the hands of Putin's bureaucracy.

Brisbane Fun

Let it be Russia or America or China why is it a so big deal to so much discussion about homosexuals. Are they not humans of their own communities.
What can they do if they are born like that?

Thomas Links

Whats wrong with these countries?
Why are they against their own people?
Being an American gay dont make him Russian and in they same way homosexuals in Russia were born in Russia not in USA

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