Gay Men in the First Ever Book about the History of Homosexuality in Belarus. LGBT news from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, November-2016, #1

Belarus came out with the first book about the history of homosexuality. Ukraine took another step towards the legalization of same-sex marriage. Russia made another leap toward the discrimination and human rights violations. Highlights of LGBT news from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia in one article. Digest Gaypress.eu, November-2016, #1.

Gaypress.eu, Volha Kashtsialian

A book on the history of homosexuality in Belarus «Queer History of Belarus of the second half of the twentieth century: an attempt to approach» by Vladimir Volodin was released in Minsk in an edition of 600 copies. This is the first published research that  covers LGBT history of Belarus from medieval times to the present day. The author writes about the famous Belarusian gays, investigates the history of persecution for homosexuality and penalties at different historical periods.

The Ukraine’s parliament has voted for the law on civil partnerships. The draft law is approved by the Expert Council of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Human Rights and sent for examination in the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, and then will be registered by a group of deputies «Euro-optimists». LGBT activist and assistant deputy Bogdan Globa shared this information on his page in Facebook.

The Ukrainian media and society have criticized the scandalous study guide on the school course «Family Values». The manual contains sexist, homophobic and transphobic stereotypes, as well as non-scientific judgments and estimates.

20161108_Lilia_GrinevichThe Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Lilia Grinevich reacted to the problem stating that the course considers the introduction of the European family values ​​— «respect for the other person’s dignity», hence the discriminatory issues contained in this guide are unacceptable in the study program.

The debates over breakdown of screening LGBT documentary «This is gay propaganda» does not subside in Chernivtsi. The media «Initiative 42» conducted a survey among representatives of the authorities regarding the accident, and received polar opinions. Some of delegates spoke openly against the movie demonstration, thereby effectively supporting the actions of radicals who had attacked the participants of the event. Others, like the mayor of the city, condemned the attack, insisting that everyone should have equal rights.

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In Russia, two brutal murders on the grounds of homophobia were committed at the same day. In Omsk, 28-year-old resident of the village Irtysh during drinking bout stabbed 37-year-old friend who had doubted his sexual orientation. In Engels, the satellite city of Saratov, a 46-year-old man strangled his 47-year-old companion, who allegedly offered him sex.

On the background of these two tragedies, the court in Kemerovo reduced the sentence  to the accused who had hit a victim with a hammer for coming out, referring to the victim’s immorality.

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The single copy of IKEA catalog with a gay couple on the cover in Russia was sold by auction. The catalog has been put up for sale after the company refused to publish a photo of Yuri Kotov and his boyfriend — the winners of the contest «Become the face of the cover» causing indignation in the LGBT community. The charity auction funds of 15 thousand rubles will be used to support «AIDS.CENTER» fund.

People’s Artist of Russia, Yevgeny Mironov reacted to the officials’ sharp criticism of the  stage performance «All Shades of Blue» directed by Konstantin Raikin. According to the plot of the play a gay student committed coming out to his parents, who  after the long fight with the «abomination» sent him to the mental asylum.

Mironov condemned the profound darkness of the officials «who arrogate the right to judge the art, and self-appoint themselves on the role of defenders of alleged morality and traditions defenders». The actor believes that the skill to see and comprehend art where the adults see only homosexual propaganda must be taught ever since one was at school.

The Russian authorities suggest to equate homopropaganda to extremism «to motivate police’s interest in the matter». Such statement was made by the representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the conference in Tula, organized by children’s ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova. 34-year-old Kuznetsova, the wife of the Russian Orthodox Church priest, has already listed the fight against the so-called homopropaganda among her focus areas on the position of the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Russian Federation.

The Russian State Duma will review a draft law on prohibition on marriages between people of the same sex determined at birth, including cases of sex changes. An employee of the registry office has no authority to check the sex of those who want to get married. Therefore the initiators of the law have to wrestle with a subject how to identify the original sex of the people without limitation their rights.

Chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin expressed concern about trends in Western European legal system.

«I am talking about legislative innovations, which declare unconventional homosexual and gender behaviors as a legal norm» — Zorkin said.

But he is totally confident about the law that is banning «propaganda of homosexuality among minors», the meaning of which, in his opinion, is to show such behavior as deviant. 73-year-old Zorkin also feels doubts about gender equality, «neglecting the natural biological rift between man and woman.»