If he were to return from the grave, Tolstoy might be horrified to see the state of the Russian language today: Every other word a borrowing from American. First there was викенд (“weekend”), then there was бойфренд (“boyfriend”), and now we have каминг-аут (“coming-out”). Tolstoy would be so depressed, that he might clasp his head and ejaculate, in perfect Russian:
“Еh bien, mon prince. Genes et Lucques ont juste sortis de leur placard . Bien sur ils l’ont fait leur coming-out. Je vois que je vous fais peur, садитесь и рассказывайте. Mais je vous previens, que si vous ne me dites pas, que nous avons la guerre culturelle!”
This is in the way of an intro to the latest round in the culture war. Now the Russian Communist Party is threatening to prosecute people… well, not for using foreign idioms, to be sure, which might be a fair use of the executive power, but rather for “coming out of the closet” and publicly declaring their adherence to “non-traditional sexual orientation”.
One can only sigh and go, “Oi, here we go again….”
Here is the nitty-gritty of the story:
The Party is proposing an administrative fine (of 5,000 rubles) and/or up to 15 days in the slammer for any person who engaged in the “coming-out” process. Two Duma deputies are behind this proposed legislation, both of them members of the Russian Communist Party: Ivan Nikitchuk and Nikolai Arefiev. They are proposing this as an amendment to the existing anti-gay legislation in place: Statute 6.12.1 “Public expression of non-traditional sexual orientations”.
Nikitchuk: What We Have Here is a Problem With Morality
According to Nikitchuk, the proposed legislation will strengthen the morality of the Russian people: “I believe that the problem raised by us is a very sharp and current one, since it touches on the social illness of our society, and first of all touches on the moral education of the younger generation. Unfortunately, the mechanism devised in 2013 in Statute 5 ФЗ ‘On protecting our children from information which harms their health and development’, which forbids the propaganda of homosexuality, has turned out to be insufficiently effective, this is why we are proposing this new measure.”
Nikitchuk goes on to say, that homosexuality is a grave threat to the human race. Since homosexuals cannot procreate, and therefore the human race is in dire danger of dying out from underpopulation. [See, at a world population of only 7.3 billion souls, on the very edge of extinction, we homo sapiens as a species are just barely clinging to life!]
And goes on to cite historical facts about the struggle against homosexuality throughout all of human history. “In Soviet law, the concept of ‘sodomy’ referred to crimes against the person and was punished by incarceration up to five years, and in cases of aggravating circumstances, for example sex with minors, incarceration up to eight years.”
Goes on to talk about punishment of homosexuals in ancient Greece, especially in Sparta.
IZVESTIA goes on to quote the legal expert Sergei Zhorin, who believes that the proposed legislation is fair, is not “populistic”, and is in line with Russian Constitutional Law. “The fact is, that various sexual preferences and orientations – is a personal and internal matter for each individual. I don’t walk around shouting that I love oral sex.” [yalensis: “Serge, you just did!”]
A dissenting view comes from another legal expert, Maria Bast. Bast says that the Communist initiative is unworthy of a left-wing party, and that its chances of being passed in the Parliament are equal to null. “I don’t believe that the parliamentary majority will go for this,” says Bast. “Especially given the fact that we are in the process of smoothing over our relations with the European Union.”