Non-Traditional Sexual Relationships: Law, Forgetting and the Conservative Political Discourse in Russia
14 December 2021
25T12:55:09Z November 2022
On the 6th of October 2013, a Moscow federal court heard a case about hate speech initiated by Tsentr ‘E’ (the Anti-Extremist Police Unit) against a pensioner. According to the materials in the case file, the pensioner (I will call her Maria for the purposes of a smooth narrative) was inspired by the ultraconservative movement Sut’ Vremeni (The Essence of Time) and went to the movement’s rally supported by and organised together with United Russia, the country’s ruling party. There, Maria disseminated her home-made leaflets that, as the judge on the case cited, shaped the general public’s ‘negative feelings and emotions about persons of Jewish ethnicity and about social group of homosexuals’. Knowing these facts and considering the conservative nature of Russia, it is puzzling why the woman was at all brought to the court. To begin with, Maria had many reasons to believe that her hateful materials would look appropriate at a state-sponsored manifestation, as they were. After all, 2013 was the year of official federal ban of so called ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships’, the law that institutionalised discrimination and officially designated LGBT people as targets of hate.
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Miklóssy, K. and Kangaspuro, M. (eds.). Conservatism and Memory Politics in Russia and Eastern Europe
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