An LGBT activist in Russia has threatened to expose gay politicians in the country's parliament should they vote in favour of a proposed bill that would remove the rights of LGBT parents to keep their own children.
Elena Kostyuchenko, a journalist for the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, announced that she would "out" the politicians via Twitter last week.
She wrote (translated by The New Civil Rights Movement):
...in the event of the passage of the law to remove children after the first reading, the information about homosexual deputies of the State Duma will be published...immunity from outing will have only the MPs who voted against the law to remove children. Others will be disclosed. This is a warning. They want to destroy our lives, and we will destroy them.
The bill, which would make relationships of a "non-traditional sexual orientation" subject to a denial of custody, similar to parents who suffer from alcoholism and drug dependency, or parents who abuse their children, was proposed by Russian lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlev.
Referring to the passing of the now-infamous anti-gay propaganda law in June, Zhuravlev said that homosexual "propaganda" had been banned from the public space and it was now time to remove it from "the family".
This latest assault on human rights in Russia follows enactment of the controversial anti-gay bill that made it illegal to disseminate "homosexual propaganda" to minors.
Should Kostyuchenko "out" gay politicians in the Russian parliament?
The Kremlin has maintained that the "propaganda" bill is designed to protect children however it has been used by the regime to block gay marches and protests, while allowing police to arrest members of the LGBT community on a whim.
Since the legislation was signed, Russia has witnessed a huge upsurge in violence against homosexuals, with weekly attacks often filmed and uploaded to YouTube.
Russia’s increasing censure of the gay community has proved a populist move for Putin; Russia is a religiously conservative country dominated by the Orthodox Church and the anti-gay bill has been well-received by the older generation to whom Putin now looks for support.
Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess master and a fierce critic of Putin, told the HuffPost that conditions are getting worse for gay people and other minorities in Russia. "I think it's a natural progression," he said. "Every dictator has to add more to the equation by demonstrating his brutality and his willingness to go as far as necessary."
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