Base Camp is where visitors go to relax, unwind, and get familiar with an anthology of earlier material.

Russia Bans ‘Gay Propaganda’

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Last week Russian Parliament (the Duma) passed a law that forbids ‘gay propaganda’ among minors – a dangerous indication of the growth of Christian fundamentalism…

Last week Russian Parliament (the Duma) passed a law that forbids ‘gay propaganda’ among minors. The ban targets gay literature, all references to homosexuality, and any protests in its defence. Violations of the law can lead to fines anywhere between the equivalent of €100 to €11,700, a sum exorbitant by Russian standards.

The legislation was passed by unanimous decision (436 yes – 0 no), with one abstention.

If that wasn’t bad enough, a second law is getting passed, on the same issue. This time Russia will outlaw the adoption of Russian children from people whose countries permit same-sex marriage.

The anti-gay initiative is championed by President Putin’s United Russia party and is based on the widespread animosity the Russian people seem to harbor toward homosexuality. The sentiment is borne out of a combination of strict Russian Orthodox Christianity and revamped nationalistic fervor that flirts with the resurgence of Russian glamor. Part of this resurgence involves standing up to Western values, one of which is, of course, the freedom to have non-traditional relationships.

This kind of discrimination, popular as it is in Russia, and institutionalized as it has been at the highest level, brings back disturbing memories from the time when the Nazis were in power in Germany. Tapping into the concerns of a disillusioned and frustrated population, Nazi populists steered an entire nation toward bigotry and genocide.

Pray to God, Orthodox or otherwise, that this doesn’t happen in Russia down the line.

One Russian journalist likened the new laws and the climate in which they operate to the situation in Iran, and she’s right. The difference between radical sharia law and radical Christian law is not so great, after all. The result is the same: persecution and agony in the name of a God, or a tradition, that refuses to acknowledge the rights of certain people.

In response to this medieval turn of events, let’s turn to an irreverent, offensive, uncontrollable, yet clever piece of standup comedy by a man called Jim Jefferies. In his outrageous comedy special, Jefferies proceeds with wicked precision to cut down a number of social stereotypes and prejudices, including hatred toward homosexuals. His act includes a brilliant section that reveals the psychopathic nature of organized religion, which seems fitting considering the extremity of Russia’s current attitude.

The last part of this special veers away from the subject matter and centers around a story that involves lots of profane and chauvinist references to sex, drugs, sweat and jizz. Consider it a bonus, I mean, it’s the theme of his comedy. If you’re easily offended, don’t watch it. Instead, consider a trip to Russia, or Iran, where they police thought and behavior, and not even clever humor is allowed. You might feel more at home there.