BlueSystem asserts an estimated 100,000 page opinions a day. Now it's banned throughout the country.”>
MOSCOW Russias gay-banning frenzy continues. Its putting pressure on LGBT people all across the country, stopping them from marching, and even pushing some back toward the closet.
Russian hardliners like to claim that homosexuality is an evil sent to Russia from the West to reduces the already declining population. But until recently, the internet remained a safe space for Russian homosexuals, and online dating services grew increasingly popular, even in the most provincial towns.
Earlier this year, national courts in the little town of Parabel in Siberia, without any warning or rationale, decided to ban BlueSystem, one of Russias most popular LGBT websites. Then the governmental forces telecommunications agency, Roskomnadzor, reacted to the court decision and banned the site. Internet providers started blocking it, without any notification to the BlueSystem administrators until, this month, the websites users were astonished to see it shut down completely.
The Kremlin is afraid of homosexuals, the BlueSystem team wrote in a post last week on its VKontakte social media page. On the eve of the State Duma elections, the Kremlin activated its repressive machine and included the most popular Runet gay site, visited by over 100,000 people a day, in a list of banned internet resources.
Moscow human rights activists were not astounded to discover such a measure was taken, as a new wave of pressure has begun.
LGBT resources get blocked as part of a broader crackdown on freedom of expression online, Tanya Lokshina, Russia program director for Human Rights Watch, told The Daily Beast. The authorities are also attempting to shut down Children-4 04( Deti-4 04 ), an online supporting group for LGBT teens.
In Vladimir Putins Russia, gay activists often end up beaten or arrested for any attempts to demonstrate for their rights. When the Russian parliament passed a homophobic bill banning gay propaganda in 2013, dozens of gay activists took its participation in a “kissing protest” outside the State Duma in Moscow. They were harassed and pelted with eggs by anti-gay protesters. Police then imprisoned about 20 LGBT activists. The infamous gay propaganda statute is used as a key tool to stillness LGBT people, Lokshina added.
The BlueSystem site, which can still be accessed outside Russiaand may be available employing VPN from insidepublished news about human rights violations, court hearings, and the ban on gay parades all across the country.
Earlier this year, the site reported that communities in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, St. Petersburg, and Tula, as well as in the Crimean towns of Yalta and Simferopol, asked Russian authorities to allow them to marching in defense of LGBT rights, and everywhere they hear the same Nyet!
Last week BlueSystem published news from the Russian provincial township of Kaluga, where LGBT people asked authorities to allow them to demonstrate in the Park of Peace and Constitutions in support of tolerant attitudes[ and] respect for the rights and freedoms of homosexually orientated people in Russia. What happened to that protest? It was banned.
Russian internet censor Roskomnadzor also has banned four political websites that called earlier this month for a boycott of the State Duma elections. Indeed, the Russian prosecutor general demanded that Roskomnadzor monitor the entire Russian internet and prohibition any site publishing anti-election unrest, the Regnum news organisation reported in July.
Besides anti-government and gay propaganda, Roskomnadzor banned the websites YouPorn and PornHub.
In reaction, the Russian blogger community decided to talk about sexa lot.
The protest was proposed by Daniel Trabun, an editor at Russian Esquire: The government forced a prudish, sterile, and conservative posture without any rationale or opportunity for discussion. This unhealthy duality also manifests in the absence of a neutral lexicon that we could use to talk about sex, ” Trabun wrote on Facebook.