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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 11:51 PM   #1
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Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

Russia Says It Will Arrest Openly Gay Tourists

Thinking of taking a vacation to Europe this summer? If a trip to iconic city of Moscow or the edgier St. Petersburg is on your bucket list, an anti-gay law recently passed in Russia may have you thinking again. It is now outlawed to be ‘out and proud.’

In a throwback to the country’s authoritarian ruling, Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a controversial law that punishes people for “homosexual propaganda.” The law fines people—including tourists—up to 200,000 rubles ($6,240 CDN) for “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” For Canadians—where same-sex marriage is legal—it is unfathomable that Russia’s laws permit the government to arrest and detain gay, or pro-gay, foreigners for up to 14 days before they would then be expelled from the country.

So what is considered pro-gay? Anything from gay-affirmative speech to hand-holding; even displaying a rainbow flag alongside a maple leaf on your backpack is illegal. Recently in southern Russia, there were complaints that Elton John’s stage outfits fell under “gay propaganda.” While LGBT are being told they are unwelcome in Russia, with such vague definitions, one wonders if anyone who even looks like they might be gay could also be fined or deported from the country.

According to Voice of Russia, any display of affection between same-sex couples could cause a “distorted understanding” that gay relations and heterosexual relations are socially equivalent, and risk spreading Western liberalism. Putin claims the law doesn’t discriminate against LGBT people, but rather—in an argument riddled with faulty logic—is there to “protect children from pedophilia.”

With Gay Pride celebrated around the world, from Sydney, Australia, to Toronto, and with same-sex marriage currently legal in 13 countries with still more countries, including New Zealand and Uruguay, following suit, it is difficult to image a country voting to enact such uncompromising and harsh laws.

And how are these new laws going to impact tourism and the world’s spotlight on the upcoming 2014 Winter Games in Sochi? Will LGBT visitors—or anyone who embraces the gay community—want to visit the games? While Russia’s laws stigmatize and target the gay community, Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism is working to encourage the LGBT community to visit. Brazil, which is hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, as well as the 2014 World Cup.

Fortunately, for LGBT travellers looking to take a vacation, there are other parts of the world more receptive to welcoming them with open arms—or at least not promising your vacation could wind up with jail time. Air Canada has gay and lesbian travel packages to places as diverse as Aruba and Tel Aviv, and promotes Copenhagen, Denmark as one of the first countries in Europe to legalize same-sex marriage. Or closer to home, New York’s Out NY Hotel advertises itself as “straight friendly.”

http://www.travelandescape.ca/2013/0...-gay-tourists/
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 12:23 AM   #2
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

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Russia Says It Will Arrest Openly Gay Tourists

Thinking of taking a vacation to Europe this summer? If a trip to iconic city of Moscow or the edgier St. Petersburg is on your bucket list, an anti-gay law recently passed in Russia may have you thinking again. It is now outlawed to be ‘out and proud.’

In a throwback to the country’s authoritarian ruling, Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a controversial law that punishes people for “homosexual propaganda.” The law fines people—including tourists—up to 200,000 rubles ($6,240 CDN) for “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.” For Canadians—where same-sex marriage is legal—it is unfathomable that Russia’s laws permit the government to arrest and detain gay, or pro-gay, foreigners for up to 14 days before they would then be expelled from the country.

So what is considered pro-gay? Anything from gay-affirmative speech to hand-holding; even displaying a rainbow flag alongside a maple leaf on your backpack is illegal. Recently in southern Russia, there were complaints that Elton John’s stage outfits fell under “gay propaganda.” While LGBT are being told they are unwelcome in Russia, with such vague definitions, one wonders if anyone who even looks like they might be gay could also be fined or deported from the country.

According to Voice of Russia, any display of affection between same-sex couples could cause a “distorted understanding” that gay relations and heterosexual relations are socially equivalent, and risk spreading Western liberalism. Putin claims the law doesn’t discriminate against LGBT people, but rather—in an argument riddled with faulty logic—is there to “protect children from pedophilia.”

With Gay Pride celebrated around the world, from Sydney, Australia, to Toronto, and with same-sex marriage currently legal in 13 countries with still more countries, including New Zealand and Uruguay, following suit, it is difficult to image a country voting to enact such uncompromising and harsh laws.

And how are these new laws going to impact tourism and the world’s spotlight on the upcoming 2014 Winter Games in Sochi? Will LGBT visitors—or anyone who embraces the gay community—want to visit the games? While Russia’s laws stigmatize and target the gay community, Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism is working to encourage the LGBT community to visit. Brazil, which is hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, as well as the 2014 World Cup.

Fortunately, for LGBT travellers looking to take a vacation, there are other parts of the world more receptive to welcoming them with open arms—or at least not promising your vacation could wind up with jail time. Air Canada has gay and lesbian travel packages to places as diverse as Aruba and Tel Aviv, and promotes Copenhagen, Denmark as one of the first countries in Europe to legalize same-sex marriage. Or closer to home, New York’s Out NY Hotel advertises itself as “straight friendly.”

http://www.travelandescape.ca/2013/0...-gay-tourists/
In this case Putin should stay away from PDA on children himself.

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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:05 AM   #3
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

A boycott of the Winter Olympics probably wouldn't be practical (I doubt enough athletes would want to participate and miss their chance of medalling), but since I don't really care about them personally. I wish that's what would happen.

At least for starters, any musician or band worth a damn should refuse to tour there. I'm surprised Elton did given it's recent history to be honest.

Sorry, rambling .
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:20 AM   #4
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

If we were to look at every single host country there are human rights reasons to boycott Olympics

Beijing - Human rights abuses everywhere
Vancouver - Seal hunt, treatment of indigenous
London - Chagos Islanders, Internment of prisoners without trial, right to appeal denied to certain prisoners
Sochi - This along with issues surrounding ethnic minorities, political freedoms

The days of Olympics boycotts are essentially over. They were always totally ineffective, boycotting Moscow didn't make the USSR leave Afghanistan any quicker.

In terms of gay holidays I for one pick my holiday destination for different reasons that the state of the LGBT rights. I'd love to go to Moscow and this wouldn't deter me, I've been to Dubai and considered even moving there.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:22 AM   #5
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

^ I have no doubt it would be useless, but it's the principle, ya know?

I think from now on I'll just ignore Russia's existence, at least until these Middle Age laws are done away with . Maria's basically American so I'll make an exception for her .
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

My point is other countries get a total pass, the situation regarding Chagos Islanders is in my opinion quite a serious breach of the rights of those people to live in their homeland yet not a single media outlet would have suggested a boycott of London. If the US were to host an Olympics I don't think we see the suggestion to boycott over spying, drones and Guantanamo Bay.

As Vanessa Redgrave once said, "Every country commits human rights abuses"

Interestingly of course Lenin decriminalised homosexuality before Stalin got his claws in the system, Lenin saw it as a harmless illness (a progressive view for that period of time).
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:35 AM   #7
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

Does Maria not have an American citizenship?

Yes I know she was born in Russia and she represents Russia, but for some reason I thought she was also an American citizen.

Maria needs to come out as a lesbian and then become American.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:37 AM   #8
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

I don't think she has ever stated that she is US citizen. She may well be for convenience reasons although I don't feel she is an Americanised as we all think, mainly cause she only seems to date European men.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 02:37 AM   #9
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

Putin sure seems to be pretty insecure regarding homosexuality, which might actually say a thing or two about his own self.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 05:06 AM   #10
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

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Putin sure seems to be pretty insecure regarding homosexuality, which might actually say a thing or two about his own self.
What a groundbreaking train of thought the one you posses.

On a more serious note, I wonder what Maria/Kiri think about the whole ordeal.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 05:09 AM   #11
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

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If we were to look at every single host country there are human rights reasons to boycott Olympics

Beijing - Human rights abuses everywhere
Vancouver - Seal hunt, treatment of indigenous
London - Chagos Islanders, Internment of prisoners without trial, right to appeal denied to certain prisoners
Sochi - This along with issues surrounding ethnic minorities, political freedoms

The days of Olympics boycotts are essentially over. They were always totally ineffective, boycotting Moscow didn't make the USSR leave Afghanistan any quicker.

In terms of gay holidays I for one pick my holiday destination for different reasons that the state of the LGBT rights. I'd love to go to Moscow and this wouldn't deter me, I've been to Dubai and considered even moving there.
A large % of sportsmen and women are gay/lesbian though.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 05:52 AM   #12
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

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A large % of sportsmen and women are gay/lesbian though.
How do you figure?
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 05:56 AM   #13
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

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How do you figure?
Not a large but many are athletes, openly and in the closet. How are openly gay and lesbian athletes going to compete in a place where being openly gay can get you in jail? It would basically mean no figure skating.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 05:57 AM   #14
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Re: Russia says it will arrest openly gay tourists

And to think the most succesful Russian singer/band/act of all time was marketed solely on the fact of being Lesbians

Anythings ok when it brings money in.
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