Segments in this Video

Russia's Anti-Gay Law (01:51)


Eric Cambell attends Queerfest before St. Petersburg police shut it down; promoting gay "propaganda" is a criminal offense. Organizer Polina discusses how legal ambiguity allows the government to target homosexuality expression.

St. Petersburg LGTB Controversy (02:44)

Western European diplomats attend Queerfest in support of LGTB rights. Politician Vitaly Milonov defends Russia's anti-gay law; police are unable to shut the venue but attendees are intimidated. Stephen Fry sends a message of solidarity.

Russian Social Conservatism (03:13)

Most citizens support the anti-gay law. Despite tolerating homosexuality, singer Valeriya Perfilova wants to protect children from "sexual propaganda." Lesbian writer Masha Gessen explains why violence is increasing against the LGBT community.

LGBT Intimidation Tactics (00:51)

Vigilantes are humiliating young gay men and uploading videos to far-right websites—without police intervention.

Anti-Gay Cultural Arguments (02:12)

Milonov sees homosexuality as a sin, yet insists his law is pro-children, rather than against gay people. His issue is with teaching LGBT awareness in schools.

LGBT Response (01:16)

Protests against Russia's anti-gay law take place in 30 countries. London demonstrators urge boycotts of the Sochi Olympics.

Passing the Anti-Gay Law (01:36)

Restrictive LGBT legislation was approved unanimously in the Duma; Gessen believes Putin responded to xenophobic rather than homophobic trends. She and her partner are moving to the U.S. as they are technically in violation.

Anti-Gay Vigilantism (02:22)

"Occupy Pedophilia" lures LGBT people into traps and humiliates them; police arrest victims, rather than perpetrators. Group leader Yekaterina Zigunova defends her actions as exposing pedophiles.

Historic Russian Homophobia (02:48)

The Soviet Union equated gays with child molesters; gay sex was decriminalized in 1993 but prejudices remain. Zigunova defends her anti-gay vigilantism as protecting children and the family institution.

Homosexuality Conspiracy Theory (03:03)

Milonov discounts anti-gay violence, yet vigilantism videos continue. Many Russians believe that LGBT rights groups are fronts for Western governments trying to stop the nation from becoming a superpower by corrupting its children.

Western Infiltration Theory (01:57)

Polina's LGBT organization has been sued for traitorous activities. Putin claims Hillary Clinton is responsible for middle class opposition and frames gay rights groups as foreign agents; Fry warns Russia is moving towards fascism.

International Gay Rights Solidarity (01:55)

Queerfest attendees enjoy dance night in St. Petersburg. The LGBT community hopes Westerners will show political support while attending Sochi Olympics.

Credits: The Iron Closet (00:39)

Credits: The Iron Closet

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The Iron Closet

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Around the world, battles are being won in the fight for same-sex partners to marry under law and for recognition that gay couples should enjoy the same financial and social benefits as heterosexual couples. However, in Russia, the fight is to stay out of jail or avoid fines for openly identifying as gay. Draconian anti-gay laws are effectively licensing vigilantism as gangs target the LGBT community. (27 minutes)

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL56165

ISBN: 978-0-81609-752-4

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.