News (World)

Russian LGBT journalist threatens to ‘out’ closeted, anti-gay politicians

MOSCOW — A prominent Russian lesbian activist and journalist has announced her intent to “out” any closeted politician who votes in favor of new anti-gay legislation that would deny gay parents custody over their children.

Elena Kostyuchenko (center), under arrest at an unauthorized Pride Rally in Moscow in May 2013.

Elena Kostyuchenko, an investigative reporter for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, announced her initiative via Twitter last week, stating: “I [will] collect information about the deputies of the State Duma concerning LGBT on [email protected] Send us your information, correspondence, photos.”

According to another tweet from Kostyuchenko, the only Duma Deputies (Members of Parliament), that she would give “immunity” to would be any closeted MPs who voted against the law to remove children.

“This is a warning. They want to destroy our lives, and we will destroy them,” she added.

At issue is a proposal by Russian lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlev that would make the “fact of nontraditional sexual orientation” a basis for denying custody over children. Other grounds include alcoholism, drug use, and abuse.

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The latest anti-gay bill comes in the wake of a recently enacted law banning homosexual “propaganda” that makes it illegal to expose minors to information that portrays “nontraditional sexual relations” as normal or attractive. Authors of the bill have justified it as a measure aimed at protecting children, and not suppressing the LGBT community.

Zhuravlev said the “propaganda” law only applies to public space, but also should apply “in the family.”

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