We Know Who’s Fueling Global Gay Hate
On one side of the great divide, the past few days have been revolutionary. France became the 14th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, eight years after Canada did. Rhode Island became the 10th U.S. state to do so, in a fast-changing America where six out of 10 citizens, and more than 80 per cent of those under 30, now believe that marriage should be open to all and that gays are fully equal. As if to symbolize this change, Americans, including their president, gave warm blessings to the coming out of a major-league basketball player.
On the other side of the divide, it’s grim. In Uganda, a notorious “anti-homosexuality” law, which includes harsh sentences for “aggravated” homosexuality, is working its way through parliament along with crackdowns that have resulted in the death of a protester. Ethiopia is facing strong pressure to introduce the death penalty for homosexuality. In Russia, a law banning “homosexual propaganda” appears poised to pass in the Duma. It’s sufficiently vague, Russian activists and writers tell me, that it could (and certainly would) be used to silence, imprison or banish any dissident figures who happen to be gay or even tolerant. A similar law is in the works in Ukraine.
Viewed from this perspective, the world seems to be splitting in two.