Some have asked why the cross post for “James Kirchick Takes On Russia Today” was removed from Harry’s Place. As my clarification comments are no longer visible I thought would summarise them here.
I was amazed how people jumped to conclusions about the post – and indeed my own sexuality or attitudes. Simply stating if he had stuck to two minutes, and talked about specifics of what is happening in Russia it would have been better – seemed to be misconstrued as a personal homophobic or alternatively “queen V queen” assault.
That people had two polar responses to my post suggests it was never going to have the fair hearing of what was actually said.
People filled in the gaps about motivation, who I am as a person, and in some cases wrong impression what the post was about. Still, that happens when blogging.
Having shown “Russia Today” coverage in the post, and agreed serious issues in Russia because of government attitudes to gay people – and issues in some UK schools too that must not be forgotten – seems incredible some thought I was disagreeing or belittling him.
Someone mentored by Hitchens should have done better. He would have quoted government officials like the sports minister, he would have said the names of journalists murdered in Russia.
Above all Hitch would not have hijacked the show with a non stop rant because that would be the story – not what he said.
Laws are not the only thing that need changing. Attitudes on the street too. That was my problem – I think this made people feel good. My post was trying to prick that bubble of euphoria – much to be done still.
So please, if you were moved by Kirchick’s stand then get involved in showing solidarity with gay, lesbian, bi sexual and transgender people not just in Russia.
EDIT: Section 28
I have been reminded some were claiming I was comparing Russia’s anti-gay legislation with section 28.
Absolutely not – where I mention it I make very clear a journalist in the second featured video (on Russia Today) and quote Peter Tatchell making, to a lesser extent than the journalist, the comparison. As you can see in the extract below:
In the second video above what is happening in Russia is compared to Section 28 in the UK about banning the promotion of homosexuality in school. In 2003 it was repealed by a Labour Government.
However, only yesterday The Independent reported:
Campaigners have identified more than 40 schools across the country that stress in their sex-education guidelines that governors will not allow teachers to “promote” homosexuality, or are ambiguous on the issue.
The campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “This is spookily similar to Section 28 in Britain and the new anti-gay law in Russia. These schools are abusing their new freedoms to pressure teachers to teach gay issues in a way that will discourage them from saying anything positive that could be construed as ‘promotion’.”
UPDATE: Mic Wright: Russia might not be the worst place to be gay, but that shouldn’t mean ignoring Putin’s bigotry is spot on with the details of what is happening in Russia.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog