Looking at the Pride Month exhibit near the Legislature, I admire Guam's support for political pluralism and the free expression of people. My message pursues the goal of informing the Guam public about what is happening with LGBTQ+ representatives abroad, and of course, to share my expert opinion with the Russian LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ rights in Russia
Since 1993, when the first Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted after the collapse of the USSR, homosexuality has been officially decriminalized in Russia. Before Vladimir Putin came to power, people call this time a small island of political freedom that existed in the past. Since 2000, no anti-LGBTQ law has been published, but nevertheless, police and prosecutors' violence against LGBTQ people has been popularized without any investigations.
In 2020, Putin's authoritarian government passed amendments to the constitution, which, in my opinion, turned the country from deeply authoritarian to totalitarian, since a state ideology was created. For political purposes, one of these amendments duplicates the Russian Civil Code and says: "Marriage is the union of a man and a woman," constitutionally denying the right of representatives of this social group to family relationships. In a country with a huge number of politically motivated criminal cases in legal practice for the expression by people of their belonging to that movement. The legal problem is in the adoption of such an amendment, and not in the legal norm of this article.
Russian society continues to be the most intolerant in Europe, and according to reports from public organizations, it is one of the 10 most intolerant societies in the world, and such amendments are a direct indulgence to violence. It is an excellent example of how a delegitimized regime is trying to solve a public catastrophe while maintaining the status quo, instead of making progress through targeted reforms with legal means.
Discrimination harms development of society.
That discriminatory policy, skillfully wrapped up under the cover of “caring for the nation,” serves Russian kleptocracy to use homophobia, intolerance and hate to satisfy the criminal needs of the regime's loyal oligarchs. Fear of stigma and ostracism to be in the "lower caste" used against all people by the police to obtain confessions, and to recruit an agent network by intelligence. Violence against people with homosexual identities is widely used to force people to do dirty work in army and prisons for free, and in government institutions, rape is an endemic problem.
With such an economic system that was created during the reforms of the first president, Boris Yeltsin, the country suffered depopulation, and the persecution of LGBTQ, while supported by Putin not only in one country, but throughout the world – only leads to the degradation of the economy and the flight of people from the country. That is, to even greater depopulation, and not to the upbringing of any culture of traditional relationships.
International public interest
The matter of special international concern is the historical fact that the policy of hatred against any social group in a particular country causes degradation of the entire legal system and entails crimes against other social minorities and has a negative impact on the whole society.
One way or another, regardless of whether the political opposition is represented in Congress, as in the United States, or sitting in prison, as in Russia, LGBTQ activity in society will manifest itself. In the most problematic region of modern Russia, Islamic Chechnya, a territory that Russia, after the collapse of the USSR, is trying to keep from declaring independence by force and an ultra-conservative ideology, the head of the republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, said that they "have no LGBTQ representatives in the republic." Of course, such a statement is not true.
The Nazi government's attempt to reduce the "genetically unfit" people by mass murdering the social groups objectionable to the government, as well as the classicide carried out in the USSR, in which the "physically and mentally disabled" people were destroyed, turned out to be wrong. As a result, the social composition of the population in percentage terms is practically no different from other countries.
This is my quick overview regarding the LGBTQ+ movement and related legal aspects in connection. I would like to wish that governments around the world allow people to safely and freely express their political preferences, and comprehensively to be an act of goodwill on the way to achieving equality for every person.
Fedor Simanov is a Russian citizen. He has applied unsuccessfully for asylum in the United States and has joined with other Russians asylum-seekers on Guam to bring attention to their plight, including taking part in a hunger strike. He has been on Guam for nearly two years.