Trouble abroad: Russia cracks down on gay activists

Critics argue that the law is not properly defined and that anyone could be arrested and jailed for simply being gay or lesbian. As it stands, those found guilty of spreading gay “propaganda” face extensive fines and jail time.

“Russia is trying very hard to make discrimination look respectable by calling it ‘tradition,’ but whatever term is used in the bill, it remains discrimination and a violation of the basic human rights of LGBT people,” said Graeme Reid, LGBT rights program director at Human Rights Watch, of the new law. “To try to exclude LGBT people as ‘non-traditional’ is to try and make them less than human. It is cynical, and it is dangerous.”

Supporters of the bill say they are protecting “traditional family values.” That sure sounds familiar.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is certainly no friend of the gays. Earlier this month, the Russian president endorsed a ban on international gay and lesbian couples from adopting Russian children.