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Russian Lawmakers Pushing Gay 'Cure'

By Andrew Belonsky

Now that any and all positive statements about LGBT people are verboten in Russia, lawmakers there are concocting a scheme to further squash sexual diversity. Mikhail Degtyarev, a DUMA MP representing Moscow, told Kremlin-backed Russia Today that he and his comrades are drafting legislation that would offer state-backed therapies designed to destroy an individual's "abnormal" desires.

From RT: "Degtyarev also added that the lower house was working on the initiative to offer gays voluntary anonymous consultations with psychologists, psychotherapists and sexologists that would help them to “return to normal life and become heterosexuals, as are 95 to 99 percent of our citizens.”

As for Russia's other anti-gay laws—like bans on LGBT pride events—Degtyarev tells RT he isn't against them, nor are they illegal. They can be held under the cloak of night. "The law presumes that they should not hold gay pride events when children can see them. But it is very possible to hold them at night, with flashlights and without amplifiers,” he said, without irony.

There will, of course, be comparisons between this plot to eradicate homosexuals with the Nazi regime's schemes against Jewish people, gypsies, and gays, too, but there may even be a more direct comparison's in Russia past. Or, rather, the Soviet Union's.

One of the many, many reasons communism and socialism failed, other than due to economics, is that the regimes behind them require absolute conformity. There's little room for individualism in a society in which comrades are meant to be indistinguishable from one another, and the definition of "normal" ends up becoming so restricted, and restricting, that the only "acceptable" people become those who write the rules in the first place. Only the state matters under such a rule. The Soviet-era propaganda poster above, found at the website Communism and Bolshevism, illustrates this argument: the caption translates to "To guard the Fatherland is a sacred duty of every citizen of the USSR."

Citizens are forced to either become loyal, obedient subjects, make themselves scarce, or find themselves removed from the equation completely. North Korea is an example of a regime that thrives by destroying individuality, and the country suffers because of it. Meanwhile, Cuba provides an example of a communist country that has learned that in order to provide for its people, it has to let its people be themselves, which explains the ease on comrade codes and the growth of a nascent gay rights movement there. It's not perfect, but it's better than it has been, and certainly better than "post-Soviet" Russia.

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