In “Russia’s Anti-Gay Crackdown,” Fierstein writes that “Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, has declared war on homosexuals,” and notes that with “Russia about to hold the Winter Games in Sochi, the country is open to pressure. American and world leaders must speak out against Mr. Putin’s attacks and the violence they foster. The Olympic Committee must demand the retraction of these laws under threat of boycott.”
Fierstein, the Tony-Award winning actor and author, most-recently of “Kinky Boots,” says “it is rumored that Mr. Putin is about to sign an edict that would remove children from their own families if the parents are either gay or lesbian or suspected of being gay or lesbian.”
The police would have the authority to remove children from adoptive homes as well as from their own biological parents.
Not surprisingly, some gay and lesbian families are already beginning to plan their escapes from Russia.
Fierstein also lists Putin’s recent anti-gay acts of hate, including signing into law a nationwide “antigay bill, classifying ‘homosexual propaganda’ as pornography.”
The law is broad and vague, so that any teacher who tells students that homosexuality is not evil, any parents who tell their child that homosexuality is normal, or anyone who makes pro-gay statements deemed accessible to someone underage is now subject to arrest and fines. Even a judge, lawyer or lawmaker cannot publicly argue for tolerance without the threat of punishment.
And Fierstein, who has for weeks been writing about Putin’s anti-gay campaign on Facebook and Twitter (and posting The New Civil Rights Movement’s article on the issue), adds:
On July 3, Mr. Putin signed a law banning the adoption of Russian-born children not only to gay couples but also to any couple or single parent living in any country where marriage equality exists in any form.
A few days earlier, just six months before Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Games, Mr. Putin signed a law allowing police officers to arrest tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days. Contrary to what the International Olympic Committee says, the law could mean that any Olympic athlete, trainer, reporter, family member or fan who is gay — or suspected of being gay, or just accused of being gay — can go to jail.
Fierstein, a long-time LGBT activist, wrote the book for the Tony Award winning Broadway musical, “Kinky Boots,” and has a long list of accomplishments throughout stage and screen, including Tony Awards for “Hairspray,” “La Cage aux Folles,” and “Torch Song Trilogy.”
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