Yet more horrifying news coming out of Russia. Not to mention, yet another look at the kind of hate Vladimir Putin and the anti-gay Duma are fostering and enabling.
This time it's coming from Ivan Okhlobystin, a popular 47-year-old actor, director, and screenwriter who starred in a Russian TV show similar to Scrubs. He is also a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, a former Russian Orthodox priest, and one-time presidential candidate. More on Okhlobystin from Queer Russia:
Okhlobystin became popular in the late 1990s but, following a religious conversion, withdrew to a monastery and became a Russian Orthodox priest. In early 2010 he resumed his entertainment career. Later that year he was named the creative director of Euroset, Russia’s largest handset retailer. Okhlobystin plays head of the therapy department in a medical sitcom “Interny” on TNT TVchannel (Wikipedia).According to Queer Russia, Okhlobystin also dropped some homophobic bombs in 2012, so this isn't his first time. But he really went all-out in this latest episode.
This time, Okhlobystin was in Novosibirsk, where he was on a tour called "Spiritual Discussions," for which attendees paid up to 2,500 rubles (or approximately $76) to hear him speak. The room was packed when he treated the audience to this:
I myself would shove all live gays into a furnace. This is Sodom and Gomorrah, I as a believer in God cannot treat this indifferently, this is a live threat to my kids! I do not want my kids to think that faggots are normal. This is lavender fascism. If a person cannot choose someone of an opposite sex for procreation – this is a overt sign of mental abnormality, so they should be denied voting rights.He doesn't want his children to see gays and lesbians as normal, but advocating the mass murder of an entire group of people? No problem.
And based on the Queer Russia report, the audience greeted the remarks with lively applause.
Wow. But there's more.
When somebody asked him about his remarks on Twitter, he initially replied:
[There is] too much pathos. It all sounded much simpler. But the meaning is transmitted correctly. Everyone has a right to have a personal opinion.Then, he added:
For a man there are only two options available to have an attitude toward sodomites: either acceptance or rejection. Given the aggression with which sodomites dictate their will to the world, there can not be some middle way. If you continue to flirt with sodomites, citing the rules of international, civil or criminal law – it means to be cunning and violating the law of God. Putting it simple – to serve the devil. Even non-participation in the solution of this problem is a betrayal of God, whatever numerous and often conflicting “rights” claim. Plus the existence of official organizations which sodomites have in all their forms, from homosexuals to pedophiles – it is a direct insult to the feelings of believers in God, and therefore it should be prosecuted.The New Civil Rights Movement adds:
NEWS.NG.ru noted that during the talk, Okhlobystin, clutching rosary beads, answered questions that had been submitted in writing. The actor promised that he would answer any that he had not had time to address in his new book — the proceeds of which he said will go to buy arms for Syria.It's certainly a scary time to be gay or lesbian in Russia--that's no secret. It's scary not because people like Okhlobystin freely spout their hate speech, but because of how terrifyingly mainstream these views seem to be. Remember the audience reaction when prominent Russian news anchor (and now head of Russia's new propaganda entity) Dmitry Kiselyov proclaimed that gay people's hearts should be burned or buried?
I think that just imposing fines on gays for homosexual propaganda among teenagers is not enough. They should be banned from donating blood, sperm. And their hearts, in case of the automobile accident, should be buried in the ground or burned as unsuitable for the continuation of life.
Scary times indeed.