The House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning the human rights abuses of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya yesterday. On the surface, this looks like a win for the LGBT community and the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus that sponsored it, but a deeper peek shows just how meaningless it really is.
The resolution doesn’t actually do anything other than make a statement about the concentration camps set up in the former Soviet republic. Hundreds of gay and bi men have reportedly been detained and tortured in the facilities.
“I’m proud that the House passed this strong resolution condemning the recent violence targeting gay men in Chechnya. Now, it’s critical that we do more to ensure those fleeing horrific violence can relocate somewhere safe,” said LGBT Caucus co-chair Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island. “This is an important step, but there is much more work left to be done.”
Here’s what the resolution does:
- It calls for Russia to investigate the allegations.
- It calls for Chechnya to investigate and punish anyone found guilty.
- It calls for the United States to identify those involved in the attacks and determine if they could be sanctioned under U.S. laws.
- It uses HRC’s hashtag #EyesOnChechnya
There are no repercussions for Chechnya. The chances of Russia suddenly deciding they like LGBT people and want to take a serious look at the issue is nil. In fact, the Russians have already “investigated” and found no evidence before the investigation even started.
While the Trump administration is in bed with the Russians, he has no actual sway to get anything accomplished. He’s been a tool in their hands and they’ve played him like a fiddle. His administration can call for anything it likes (and UN ambassador Nikki Haley has already condemned the attacks although the White House hasn’t), but that doesn’t make it going to magically happen.
“We will continue to stand united with the LGBT community and shine a bright light on these atrocities, which are encouraged by the evil Putin regime in Russia, in order to help ensure that those who are responsible for these crimes are held to account for their despicable actions,” said retiring Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.
Perhaps she’d be better off cleaning out the Trump administration with all of her fellow party members who advocate for ex-gay torture, oppose our equality, and seek to actively harm us. You don’t need Russia for that. None of the Republicans in the House wanted to go on the record as supporting the murder of innocent people, but most of them aren’t going to lift a finger to stop it here at home.
But, hey, HRC’s hashtag got used. Looks like all those political donations the group makes is really paying off. Enjoy the hashtag, Chechen queer folk. Because in the end, that’s what you’re gonna get from America’s political leaders.
— Rep. Susan Davis (@RepSusanDavis) June 27, 2017
— LGBT Equality Caucus (@LGBTEqCaucus) June 27, 2017
— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) June 27, 2017
— Sean Patrick Maloney (@RepSeanMaloney) June 27, 2017