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No Room for Humor

A Eurasianet partner post from Coda

How one journalist used satire to cover the 2013 Russian law against homosexual “propaganda” – and why he could not do it now.
 
On January 19, members of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, gathered to discuss a draft bill that would make it illegal for two men to hold hands and for two women to embrace each other in public. The bill, which threatens up to 15 days in jail for displays of non-heterosexual public affection, is legally so dubious that it caused controversy even within the walls of Russia’s homogenous parliament.
 
Those parliamentarians who had backgrounds in law issued a joint statement condemning the bill for lack of clarity and failure to define what it was trying to ban: “public demonstrations of distorted sexual preferences in public places.” But in an interview in the dissident Meduza website, the author of the bill, Ivan Nikitchuk offered to clarify: the bill would stop homosexuals “from displaying their demonic desires, which the West would force on us.”
 
I did not cover the bill’s passage, but the news took me back to what feels like a distant and unreal past: Moscow in 2012.
 

To read the full story

Pavel Kanygin is a reporter for Novaya Gazeta.

A Eurasianet partner post from Coda

No Room for Humor

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