Russia issues ‘gay family’ warning to parents of UK summer school kids

Russian activists claim London embassy's warning about risk of children staying with gay families is 'official homophobia in action'

Russia issues ‘gay family’ warning to parents of UK summer school kids
18 July 2012

Russia’s embassy in London has issued a warning to parents about the risk of their children staying with ‘gay families’ during their placement at UK summer schools.

After receiving complaints from Russian citizens, the embassy in the British capital released a statement on its website claiming that some children who were studying in the country had experienced ‘inappropriate housing conditions’ and ‘maltreatment’, including being denied food, while staying with host families.

It then warns that children have also been placed in ‘families of homosexuals’.

However, the embassy assures parents that the consular office can intervene to help move children to other families to ‘ensure normal living conditions for minors’.

Gay rights activist Nikolai Baev slammed the embassy’s warning as proof of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s ‘official homophobia in action’.

Yury Gavrikov, head of campaign group Ravnopravie, also blasted the Russian embassy claiming their statement is motivated by fear.

‘Russian officials and homophobes are afraid of this topic because they know if they play with the fear of society it will be easy to manipulate their opinions,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘If they talk about families and children they will attract attention and show they feel they same things as the people.

He added: ‘If LGBT people are kept hidden then there will be no problems and there is no need for actions to solve it. It’s easier to hide behind the fear in society.’

Andy Wasley, from UK-based gay equality group Stonewall, said Russia’s government routinely persecutes its 8.5 million gay people.

‘So, if true, the embassy’s “warning” about families with same-sex parents here in Britain is unsurprising,’ he said.

‘Unfortunately it means many Russian young people might be denied an opportunity to see life in a country which truly respects difference and where young people from all kinds of backgrounds are protected from discrimination.’

The Russian embassy in London told GSN that it had issued the warning because it was ‘deemed a problem by some of the families of the kids’ and had to react to complaints in order to ensure ‘misunderstandings do not happen again’.

In March, an anti-gay ‘propaganda’ bill was submitted to the Russian parliament, calling for fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,500 €12,400) for ‘spreading homosexual propaganda’ among minors.

It followed similar legislation adopted in St Petersburg, banning ‘propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderness among minors’ in the city.

Two months later, LGBT rights activist Nikolai Alekseyev was given a fine for such alleged ‘propaganda’, simply for holding up a banner quoting a famous Soviet actress who said ‘homosexuality is not a perversity, perverse is hockey on grass and ballet on ice’.

Since the adoption of the law, thousands of people all around the world, urging them to stop human rights abuses against LGBT people and to let the St Petersburg pride go ahead unhindered.

Last month, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe called on Russia to explain how the country intended to uphold its obligations under human rights law after the adoption of similar ‘homosexuality propaganda’ laws in several regions of the country.



No thumbnail available

‘Ex-gay’ author Robert Oscar Lopez compares gay surrogacy to slavery

‘Ex-gay’ author and professor Robert Oscar Lopez has likened gay couples using surrogates to birth their children to the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and says they are either buys or stealing their children despite the surrogate mothers not being related to the babies
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay group flies ‘Not Born This Way’ banner over Lady Gaga concert

Florida Family Association targeted the singer's anti-bullying and suicide prevention efforts at the Born Brave Bus Tour
No thumbnail available

Head of Boy Scouts of America calls for an end to ban on gay adults

Robert Gates: Scouts can't 'ignore the social, political and juridicial changes taking place in our country'
No thumbnail available

Jennifer Lopez to develop and star in lesbian TV drama

American Idol judge producing show about two lesbian women and their family life
No thumbnail available

Michelle Visage on the biggest story of RuPaul’s Drag Race season six

Straight-talking judge talks to Gay Star News about the 'T' word debate, raising the bar for equality and Drag Race in the UK
No thumbnail available

Adepero Oduye talks about starring in 'Pariah'

Actress has won raves for her portrayal of lesbian teen searching for her voice
No thumbnail available

Check out the amazing cakes baked by these school kids for LGBT History Month

The cakes were produced during the grand final of the ‘Ed-u-bake and Cel-a-cake’ Great Rainbow Bake Off: a nationwide competition for students to help tackle LGBT prejudice
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Malaysia's homophobic and sexist winners revealed at the Aiyoh... Wat Lah?! awards

Annual award ceremony brings attention to the worst examples of sexism and homophobia in Malaysia with irony 
No thumbnail available

Uganda: 'Kill The Gays' bill must be made law now

A former minister has launched a campaign urging politicians to learn from the 'heroic actions' of Ghana, Nigeria and Russia and 'protect Ugandan citizens'