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Russian religious group threatens Facebook: Stop ‘flirting with sodomites’

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SARATOV, Russia — A Russian Orthodox religious community in the southern Russia city of Saratov has issued an ultimatum to social media giant Facebook, demanding that the company stop “flirting with sodomites” and immediately remove all content “promoting homosexuality.”

The outcry resulted after after the popular social networking website introduced same-sex marriage status icons earlier this month: one depicting two brides, the other two grooms.

Facebook's new same-sex couple icons

The group sent a fax to Facebook’s office in Moscow on Friday, and gave it 24 hours to fulfill its demands.

According to the fax, should the company refuse to comply, then the group stated that they will sue Russian internet service providers who give users access to Facebook content.

Russian News Portal TemaSaratov reported Wednesday that the group’s demands have been ignored by Facebook, and that the group has now begun an effort to collect signatures in support of returning a Soviet-era anti-gay article to the Penal Code of the country’s Federal Constitution.

The leader of the Orthodox group, Vladimir Roslyakovsky, told Russian media outlets that the group’s activists managed to obtain 34,000 signatures in just three days.

“The goal is to get the support of at least a million citizens,” he said, adding that Muslim, Catholic and Jewish communities are also participating in the campaign.

“Dealers who cash in on children have neither conscience nor religious beliefs. We demand only one thing: Facebook should be blocked in the entire country because it openly popularizes homosexuality among minors,” Roslyakovsky said, in a statement.

Roslyakovsky also told the Russian press that once a million signatures are collected, his group activists are also planning to submit an appeal to the State Duma (Russian Federal Parliament).

“The U.S. goal is that Russians stop having children. (They want) the great nation to turn into likeness of Sodom and Gomorrah,” he said.

According to Roslyakovsky, “Facebook has already affected a large number of inexperienced youngsters and it is not clear what they will be like when they grow up. But, I am confident that Russian laws and reasonable citizens will be able to protect their children from a fierce attack of sodomites.”

Homosexuality was a criminal offense during the Soviet era with the penalty being a jail sentence or being sent to a mental health “clinic” for evaluation.

The specific article of the criminal code was repealed during the era of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1993, but LGBT activists still are reporting numerous incidents of discrimination as well as homophobic behavior by government bodies.

This year, legislatures of several Russian regions — including St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Arkhangelsk — introduced laws and regulations that list “gay propaganda to minors” as an administrative offense that is punished by hefty fines.

Some Russian lawmakers have also suggested a similar move on a nationwide level, efforts that have the backing of the country’s powerful Russian Orthodox Church and other religious leaders.

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38 more reader comments:

  1. Sounds like the old Marquess of Queensberry …

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 11:57am
  2. fuck the russian religious groups they can go to there own hell

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 11:58am
  3. All I can do is laugh at this.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:00pm
  4. A fax?? Really??? “The group sent a fax to Facebook’s office in Moscow on Friday, and gave it 24 hours to fulfill its demands.”

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:01pm
  5. As if facebook is going to listen to those jokes.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:02pm
  6. Who doesn’t enjoy flirting with sodomites?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:02pm
  7. If people can’t accept others differences then they shouldn’t be allowed to use facebook, or anywhere that promotes and accepts differences

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:04pm
  8. they need to learn that they are the ones being detrimental not the lgbt community, they’re just bootytickled

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:05pm
  9. Lets send them some gay porn to enjoy

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:09pm
  10. These ‘religious’ groups are a hazard to our community…keep your beliefs to yourself. Russia is living in the early 20th century, and seem to be at least a century behind us in many ways, but here too we have many that have not evolved. It’s a tired subject. And, so divisive.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:10pm
  11. FB should delete this group

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:12pm
  12. Sorry, it’s Russia, did you expect it to be something reasonable?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:13pm
  13. I have a problem with something so we need to ban it from the entire country! No way people could just decide for themselves if they want to use it. Nope.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:14pm
  14. Whar do the letters lgbtq stand for?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:25pm
  15. lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, questioning.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:28pm
  16. That’s Russia’s opinion. Who cares????

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:30pm
  17. These religious nuts are a disgrace to mother Russia. >:/

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:33pm
  18. ROFL, what a bunch of backwards, archaic, stoneage fucking retarded dipshits. Religion is the bane of the entire world and this is one example of why. “Oh my, you don’t share our lame beliefs? Then prepare for the banhammer!” Well, how about we don’t share your religious beliefs so YOU should be banned from the internet. Stupid orthodox wingnuts.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:36pm
  19. Religious fanatics.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:36pm
  20. OMG! When have we, as gay people, ever said we no longer wanted straight people – Russian or otherwise – to stop having children? Its absolutely ridiculous to come up with a scathing lie to further your own agenda. Shame on Russia.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:41pm
  21. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH oh Russia… Who the fuck do they think they are?!? a Tiny little church in southern Russia gives Facebook an ultimatum?? Go ahead, sue them! Embarrass yourselves!….Morons.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 12:58pm
  22. wow thats wak thats fukup not all gays like that we have are our own rule we go by, stop bring up religious its bullshit thats why people dont believe in them you yall are the one is killing the name of religious

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 1:13pm
  23. Oh shit!!! A handful of Russian loonies got their knickers in a knot.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 2:01pm
  24. and a good question becomes, why are they flerting with us if they’re straight anyway?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 2:58pm
  25. Russia is like a really pretty girl that’s a total bitch, and therefore her beauty’s ruined.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 2:59pm
  26. Woooooow they aren’t flirting, didn’t they here that one of the owners(it was an owner or creator right?) just got married to his partner.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 3:30pm
  27. What does the “Q” stand for?

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 3:32pm
  28. and we should warn teh russians, stay out of our business, or we will cold war your asses

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 3:35pm
  29. I believe it’s queer that the q stands for.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 4:00pm
  30. LBGTQ and I (intersexed people)

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:21pm
  31. what are they gonna do? send an icbm to destroy fb hq? lol

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:22pm
  32. This is so sad. People will not just love everyone,stop judging.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:24pm
  33. russia telling fb that is like saying there can be no more russian gay porn and that would suck

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:25pm
  34. <<Binational couples!!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:25pm
  35. Sorry, Facebook ain’t Russian!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:26pm
  36. OMG…Facebook has been flirting with me…who knew…I’d have worn a nicer hat..

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:38pm
  37. Of course it should be of little surprise that the religious are leading the charge, and that they are misinformed as usual.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:51pm
  38. I’m French last time I checked.

    Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 7:11am