Homophobic Moscow

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has banned gay activists from holding a parade (irony whiplash alert!) to demonstrate against discrimination, saying that Moscow is “cleaner” than the West.

"Our way of life, our morals and our tradition -- our morals are cleaner in all ways. The West has something to learn from us and should not race along in this mad licentiousness," he told Moscow radio, according to local news agencies.

"We may have a democratic country, but we live in an organized country and an organized city.
There are two things I can say with certainty about Mayor Luzhkov. One: He is a bigot and an asshole. Two: He has never been to a gay man’s apartment. Anyone who claims the need to ban gays to preserve cleanliness and organization is really out of the gay loop.

Okay, that last part is just a little joke for my gay pals. But what’s happening to the LGBT community in Moscow isn’t funny at all. The demonstrators were “detained by police, abused by militant Christians and attacked by neo-fascists… The protest on Saturday, which was intended as a Gay Pride solidarity event as have become common in Western capitals, degenerated into a scrum with women hurling eggs and fruit at the activists, while shouting ‘Moscow is not Sodom.’” This kind of hateful and dangerous bullshit is inevitable when a community is consistently targeted by a government for exclusion from equal rights and protections. That’s why there’s no middle ground in the fight for gay rights in America—and why it so infuriates me when the Dems (and too many liberal bloggers) straddle the fence while the GOP goes full throttle in trying to destroy gay families by banning marriage, banning adoptions and fostering, making co-guardianship illegal, denying partner benefits, etc. The exploitation of any community will deteriorate, unavoidably, into increased violence and marginalization of the community’s members. There’s no middle ground in for equal rights. People have got them, or they don’t. You’re willing to support their right to have them, or you don’t.

We know precisely where the GOP stands. They’re not afraid to unabashedly support the denial of rights and call it “moral values.” Why are so many on our side of the aisle not willing to boldly stake out the opposite territory, especially when our position aligns itself with the very morality upon which this country was founded? There’s too much to lose by staying out of this fight.

I would say, “Do we really need to see people pelted with eggs before we do something about the problem of political antagonism of the LGBT community?” except we’ve all heard the name Matthew Shepard, and if he’d only been hit with eggs, he’d just be another gay man subjected to insult and injustice that never made the news. But he wasn’t. And even after he was tortured and killed, just for being gay, some of us still don’t consider this a moral battle worthy of our attention.

I guess as long as it just happens in abandoned fields and dark alleys, to men and women who are just trying to live their lives, by men and women who aren’t officially organized under a banner like “militant Christians” or “neo-fascists,” or as long as it’s done politely, by men and women in suits, who use legislation and votes as their weapons, some of us just can’t be bothered.

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