Harvey Fierstein’s Worst Fears Realized
Via Advocate.com, we learned today that Harvey Fierstein can now add prophet to his resume. Russian State Duma Deputy Alexei Zhuravlev has proposed a law where “nontraditional sexual orientation”, like drug use or child abuse, would be grounds for parents to lose their children. The draft bill was posted to the Federal Assembly’s (parliament’s) website today.
Zhuravlev is a member of the ruling United Russia party. He argues that as homosexual propaganda is wrong in public, it is wrong “in the family”. In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning homosexuals from foreign countries from adopting Russian children. This, together with the more recent “gay propaganda” law, made this new bill nearly inevitable.
It’s like the proverbial “left hand-right hand” scenario. While Putin and his cronies pass law after law pushing LGBT Russians back into hiding, he is telling the world that Russia doesn’t discriminate against homosexual citizens. What is next? The Gulag?
What the world seems to be ignoring is that these laws are creating an atmosphere where hate crimes are becoming patriotic. A PSA reported a few days ago is encouraging Russians to report their neighbors if they suspect they may be gay. There is the subtle, and not so subtle, disenfranchisement of Jews, evangelical Christians, blacks…
This is all looking frighteningly like Putin is working toward resurrecting the Third Reich, one step at a time. This is about more than just Russia’s LGBT citizens. This is about a society that is starting to purge itself of those it views as inferior, deviant, defiant and not ‘true Russians’. Sound vaguely familiar? The Nazis did the same thing.
Right from the establishment of the Third Reich, Nazi leaders proclaimed the existence of a “people’s community”. Nazi policies divided the population into two categories, the “national comrades”, who belonged to the people’s community, and the “community aliens”, who did not. Nazi policies about repression divided people into three types of enemies, the “racial” enemies such as the Jews and the Gypsies who were viewed as enemies because of their “blood”; political opponents such as Marxists, liberals, Christians and the “reactionaries”; and moral opponents such as homosexuals, the “work-shy” and habitual criminals.
Leading up to the March 1933 Reichstag elections, the Nazis intensified their campaign of violence against the opposition.
Throughout the 1930s, the legal, economic, and social rights of Jews were steadily restricted. In 1933, a series of laws were passed which contained Aryan paragraphs to exclude Jews from key areas: the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, the first anti-Semitic law passed in the Third Reich; the Physicians’ Law; and the Farm Law, forbidding Jews from owning farms or taking part in agriculture.
Jewish lawyers were disbarred. Jews were excluded from schools and universities (the Law to Prevent Overcrowding in Schools), from belonging to the Journalists’ Association, and from being owners or editors of newspapers.
In July 1933, the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring calling for compulsory sterilization of the “inferior” was passed. This major eugenic policy led to Hereditary Health Courts, under whose rulings over 400,000 people were sterilized against their will during the Nazi period.
In 1935, Hitler introduced the Nuremberg Laws, which: prohibited Jews from marrying or having sex with “Aryans” (the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor), stripped German Jews of their citizenship and deprived them of all civil rights. Hitler said that if the “Jewish problem” cannot be solved by these laws, it “must then be handed over by law to the National-Socialist Party for a final solution”.
[excerpted from The Holocaust, Wikipedia]
And now, as then, the world watched and denied and dithered. Some countries, such as Canada, have started to respond by announcing expedited asylum hearings for LGBT people fleeing Russia. This is not enough. The world has to tell Russia, and Putin, that it will not tolerate a Russian Third Reich. Withdrawing the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi is a start. Not allowing Putin to use Syria the way Hitler used Spain would be another. All nations have to stop this.
What happened to ‘never again’?