The city of Moscow has banned a proposed Gay Rights parade, on the spurious ground that such a celebration would "destroy morals" in the capital that was home to such great moral thinkers as Ivan Grozny, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Boris Yeltsin, and Vladimir Putin.
Gay rights activists have staged small unsanctioned parades in Moscow without government approval over the past few years. But they have faced arrests and severe beatings by anti-gay and neo-fascist groups.
"The Moscow government is saying: Moscow has never had gay parades and it never will," said Mayor Yuri Luzhkov's spokesman, Sergei Tsoi. "Not only do they destroy morals within our society, but they consciously provoke disorder which threatens the lives of Muscovites and visitors."
Of course the real reason for the ban is that, from what I can tell via the internet (haven't been there in some time) Russian attitudes toward gay people are about as enlightened as those that prevail in the worst shitkicker bar in Shitkicker, Wyoming. And Russia's catastrophic decline toward zero population, which is a big worry for the government but is not due to a sudden riot of color and home decoration, but vodka, heroin, and immigration by anyone who can get out of the place. Most of that's nothing new, but the option to leave the country for educated Russians, historically speaking, is.
Still, Shitkicker, Wyoming is pretty enlightened by historical Russian standards, when the organizers of a Gay Rights parade would have been torn apart by horses under the tsars, sent to the Gulag by Stalin, or placed in a mental hospital in the enlightened 1970s. So cheer up, Russophobes: while Russia isn't as enlightened as Iowa or Maine, that Russians could even apply to hold a Gay Rights parade, on the same streets where May Day tank parades are held, is evidence of progress. Perhaps in twenty years Russia will join the family of civilized nations, like Iowa.
If there are any Russians left in twenty years.
Via Kip, Esquire, who has a definite "glass half empty" take on the matter.