Why does the west disproportionately focus on Russia with respect to gay rights? Watch

limetang
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There are 76 countries (out of a total of 196) where "homosexual acts", that is, sexual intercourse between members of the same sex, are illegal. Despite the media attention geared towards Russia with respect to its record on gay rights, Russia is not one of those countries. When India, the worlds largest democracy, recriminalised "homosexual acts", it did not get anywhere near the amount of backlash, protest, or media coverage than Russia has for the past few years.

The "gay propaganda" law in Russia, is of course wrong, but the focus on Russia, as though it is somehow the absolute worst place on the planet for gay people is incredibly damaging IMO, because it causes us to shift our focus and our efforts away from the far more devastating situation for gay rights in many many countries.

So why is it, that we focus on Russia so much, when objectively there are FAR bigger fish to fry.
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NYU℠
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(Original post by limetang)
So why is it, that we focus on Russia so much, when objectively there are FAR bigger fish to fry.
Russia is one of the world's superpowers and is subject to the European Convention on Human Rights, of which they are blatantly and flagrantly in violation. They are not giving LGBT individuals rights guaranteed to them by international law and (by extension because of Russia's monist legal system) national law.
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limetang
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(Original post by NYU2012)
Russia is one of the world's superpowers and is subject to the European Convention on Human Rights, of which they are blatantly and flagrantly in violation. They are not giving LGBT individuals rights guaranteed to them by international law and (by extension because of Russia's monist legal system) national law.
I'm not disputing that, but you and I both know that the outrage at Russia is nothing to do with it violating international and national law. It's a moral outrage far more than it is anything else, and it's one that completely lacks objectivity. Russia being a superpower is to my mind unimportant, people are people, the political power of where they live shouldn't matter, and to focus as hard as we do on Russia with respect to its treatment of LGBT people is wrong, when there are countries where LGBT people are being executed as a result of their sexuality. We should of course focus on it, but the intensity of it here is blinding us to the situation as a whole.
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NYU℠
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(Original post by limetang)
I'm not disputing that, but you and I both know that the outrage at Russia is nothing to do with it violating international and national law. It's a moral outrage far more than it is anything else, and it's one that completely lacks objectivity. Russia being a superpower is to my mind unimportant, people are people and to focus as hard as we do on Russia with respect to its treatment of LGBT people is wrong, when there are countries where LGBT people are being executed as a result of their sexuality. We should of course focus on it, but the intensity of it here is blinding us to the situation as a whole.
If a world superpower can treat LGBT people in these ways, contrary to their own laws and in violation of the international law, then they're showing every other country that it's perfectly okay to violate international norms and national law to persecute minorities.

Russia is moving backwards on their legal rights protections for LGBT people; the countries you're talking about have, predominantly, lacked rights for LGBT people.
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limetang
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(Original post by NYU2012)
If a world superpower can treat LGBT people in these ways, contrary to their own laws and in violation of the international law, then they're showing every other country that it's perfectly okay to violate international norms and national law to persecute minorities.

Russia is moving backwards on their legal rights protections for LGBT people; the countries you're talking about have, predominantly, lacked rights for LGBT people.
Which is a different issue entirely and it isn't the one western people and the western media are focussing on. This is a piece anecdotal evidence granted and so of course should be taken with a pinch of salt, but I think it does help illustrate my point. I was talking with a few friends and the topic of the next two world cups came up, where they are of course being hosted in Russia and Qatar. The first thing that came up with Russia was about how it's such a terrible place for gay people there, the same comment did not come up for Qatar, where "homosexual acts" are illegal. The general feeling seems to be that Russia is objectively one of the worst places on the planet to be gay, that's how people see it, that's the message the press is giving people. And THAT is a problem, because people are getting a distorted view of what gay rights look like worldwide.

If I may ask, why are you so eager to defend the intensity of focus we have on Russia at the expense of other objectively worse nations for LGBT rights?
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NYU℠
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(Original post by limetang)
The general feeling seems to be that Russia is objectively one of the worst places on the planet to be gay, that's how people see it, that's the message the press is giving people.
As a gay person, who knows many other LGBT individuals both inside and outside of academia, I don't think this is remotely true. I think, almost universally, that LGBT people think it's worse to be killed than not; and that a number of countries ban LGBT acts.

If I may ask, why are you so eager to defend the intensity of focus we have on Russia at the expense of other objectively worse nations for LGBT rights?
If I may ask, why are you attempting to construct a straw man fallacy in conjunction with a quasi-futility fallacy? A focus on Russia doesn't ineluctably mean that the conditions for LGBT individuals in other countries are cast aside.
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limetang
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(Original post by NYU2012)
As a gay person, who knows many other LGBT individuals both inside and outside of academia, I don't think this is remotely true. I think, almost universally, that LGBT people think it's worse to be killed than not; and that a number of countries ban LGBT acts.


If I may ask, why are you attempting to construct a straw man fallacy in conjunction with a quasi-futility fallacy? A focus on Russia doesn't ineluctably mean that the conditions for LGBT individuals in other countries are cast aside.
For the first point our perceptions clearly differ, and it's going to be difficult for either of us to properly quantify what public perception actually is when it comes to gay rights worldwide.

As for the second (bolded) point. I wasn't trying to do either of those things, though perhaps the point I was getting at wasn't clear. Of COURSE a focus on Russia and it's gay rights record doesn't mean you're necessarily going to ignore the situation in other countries.

The point I AM making is that the INTENSITY of our focus on Russia does seem to be causing people to lose sight of the picture worldwide. We of course should focus on Russia and ALL countries that are deficient in ANY type of human rights, my point is simply that you are going to struggle to do that effectively if you lose your objectivity.
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The-light
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(Original post by limetang)
There are 76 countries (out of a total of 196) where "homosexual acts", that is, sexual intercourse between members of the same sex, are illegal. Despite the media attention geared towards Russia with respect to its record on gay rights, Russia is not one of those countries. When India, the worlds largest democracy, recriminalised "homosexual acts", it did not get anywhere near the amount of backlash, protest, or media coverage than Russia has for the past few years.

The "gay propaganda" law in Russia, is of course wrong, but the focus on Russia, as though it is somehow the absolute worst place on the planet for gay people is incredibly damaging IMO, because it causes us to shift our focus and our efforts away from the far more devastating situation for gay rights in many many countries.

So why is it, that we focus on Russia so much, when objectively there are FAR bigger fish to fry.
Why do you think, the are not going to come out and say "you know the real problem have have with Putin is that at the 43rd security conference in Munich he effectively said that we are trying to create a one world government - and he's right, but forget that we know you're dumb enough to dislike anyone we tell you to dislike for any reason we give you so dislike Putin because he is no good with gays."




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BefuddledPenguin
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Because in spite of the political class there, Russia is a modern civilisation, it's a hugely influential country with a long and great history. Yet they have failed to progress on social issues, and in fact have regressed on the issue of gay acceptance. This is especially odd given the many famous and immortalised gay people whose works have become fundamental parts of Russia's culture.

Whereas we come to expect racism, sexism and homophobia in other countries because frankly they have more pressing needs, such as poverty and war. Hard to care about the needs of your citizens when you feel the very existence of your country is at risk.
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thesabbath
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Because Russia is a White country.

The enforcers of political correctness cannot abide any White opposition to their creed, because political correctness is only designed for Whites. Every other race is "oppressed" and is consequently not expected to uphold the same standards.
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RF_PineMarten
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I think it's probably because of changes being made to laws, at least partly.

Russia changed its laws, resulting in media attention.

Similar to Uganda's anti gay laws, which were changed and made more strict, again attracting media attention.

In lots of other countries, the laws have been like that for ages, so we don't focus on them as much. But we probably will focus on other countries if any of them change their anti gay laws (whether tightening them or relaxing them).
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chickencock
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It has nothing to do with gay rights. Its just a way to demonise Putin because Putin is not doing what he is told by the United States.
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YellowWallpaper
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(Original post by limetang)
There are 76 countries (out of a total of 196) where "homosexual acts", that is, sexual intercourse between members of the same sex, are illegal. Despite the media attention geared towards Russia with respect to its record on gay rights, Russia is not one of those countries. When India, the worlds largest democracy, recriminalised "homosexual acts", it did not get anywhere near the amount of backlash, protest, or media coverage than Russia has for the past few years.

The "gay propaganda" law in Russia, is of course wrong, but the focus on Russia, as though it is somehow the absolute worst place on the planet for gay people is incredibly damaging IMO, because it causes us to shift our focus and our efforts away from the far more devastating situation for gay rights in many many countries.

So why is it, that we focus on Russia so much, when objectively there are FAR bigger fish to fry.
Nah, it's cause the USA/UK don't have a 'special relationship' with Russia as they do with arab countries like Qatar, Saudia Arabia etc.
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limetang
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(Original post by RFowler)
I think it's probably because of changes being made to laws, at least partly.

Russia changed its laws, resulting in media attention.

Similar to Uganda's anti gay laws, which were changed and made more strict, again attracting media attention.

In lots of other countries, the laws have been like that for ages, so we don't focus on them as much. But we probably will focus on other countries if any of them change their anti gay laws (whether tightening them or relaxing them).
Obviously a change of laws is noteworthy, which is why Uganda got some media attention, and it's why India got some attention when it recriminalised "homosexual acts" last year, but neither country seems to have gotten the same degree of coverage as Russia has.
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