Facebook’s recent decision to create icons for married same-sex couples has found a fierce opponent — a group of Russian Orthodox activists who are taking this opportunity to try to re-criminalize homosexuality.
Russian Orthodox activists in the city of Saratov are calling for Facebook to be banned in Russia for perpetuating “gay propaganda” and “flirting with sodomites,” according to a post on Mashable. The group gave Facebook’s Russian offices a 24-hour ultimatum to remove all content “promoting homosexuality” or they would sue Internet service providers who allow access to Facebook. Not surprisingly, their ultimatum was ignored.
Here’s the part that’s kind of funny:
“The US goal is that Russians stop having children. [They want] the great nation to turn into likeness of Sodom and Gomorrah,” [leader Vladimir] Roslyakovsky told Saratov news portal.
And here’s the part that’s kind of scary:
Since the ultimatum was ignored, the Saratov’s community began to collect signatures in support of returning a Soviet-era anti-gay article to the Penal Code, reports TemaSaratov news portal…
In just three days the activists managed to obtain 34,000 signatures, said the leader of the Orthodox public organization, Vladimir Roslyakovsky. The goal is to get the support of at least a million citizens, he stated, adding that Muslim, Catholic and Jewish communities are also participating in the campaign, since “Dealers who cash in on children have neither conscience nor religious beliefs.”
This wouldn’t be worth a second glance if it weren’t for this group’s attempt to re-criminalize homosexuality, something that isn’t impossible at all in Russia. As of this February, Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg has already banned rainbow flags and media containing “homosexual content.” Banning Facebook might not be feasible, but for hard-pressed religious activists with this kind of nerve, banning homosexuality just might be within reach.