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Repeal Russia's Anti Gay Propaganda Law Essay

1599 words - 7 pages

This past June a law passed in Russia that made gay propaganda illegal even though homosexuality has been legal in Russia since 1993. President Vladimir Putin signed the Anti-Gay Propaganda bill into law on June 30th 2013 and Russia's Anti-Gay Propaganda law prohibits all Russian gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals from publicly discussing or promoting their sexuality. The Anti-Gay Propaganda law attempts to shield the youth of Russia from any pro-gay speech, symbols or demonstrations in all public space as well as on any form of media in Russia. The law is similar to laws in America that do their best to prevent minors from access to R rated movies or pornography even though both of these are legal for consenting adults. The only difference is that this law solely targets a minority group and does it's best to silence the group. Russia's Anti-Gay Propaganda law should be repealed because it is a step in the wrong direction for Russia.
Russia home to 140 million people has the highest use of intravenous drugs in the world as well as one of the quickest growing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) rates. HIV a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that eventually leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The incurable and deadly disease AIDS can spread by sharing needles during intravenous drug use or certain sexual activities. HIV is especially prevalent in the gay community because anal sex is the easiest way to transmit HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The European AIDS Clinical Society strongly opposes the Anti-Gay Propaganda law because the law could be used to outlaw HIV prevention and treatment campaigns aimed at Russia's gay community. The Co-Chair of the 14th European AIDS Conference, Professor Nathan Clumeck, stated, "As scientists we have a moral obligation to say what is unethical and unacceptable... [and] to be silent is to be complicit" when the Anti-Gay Propaganda law will result in harmful public health policies (Alcorn). Russia's Anti-gay propaganda law has and will only make it harder to combat the quickly growing Russian HIV rate because the inability to publicly discuss HIV prevention targeting gay and bisexual men leaves infected men and women in the dark on how to not spread HIV and get treatment. The Russian government needs to consider how the Anti-Gay Propaganda law negatively affects HIV prevention because HIV cannot be beaten with silence.
Proponents of the Anti-Gay Propaganda law do however enjoy popular support for the law, as well as religious and presidential backing. In June the All-Russian Public Opinion Center found "that 88% of Russian's [polled] support the homosexual propaganda ban" and just less than half would be happier if homosexuality was recriminalized (Reines). Although homophobia in Russia is widely accepted as normal the Russian constitution states that propaganda supporting, celebrating, or discussing legal activities such as 'non-traditional sexual-relationships'...

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