I am a law-abiding citizen. I have never been arrested. I don't ever want to be arrested. That is why as an American visitor to the Russian Federation I plan to abide by the law that President Vladimir Putin signed in late June banning all "gay propaganda."
According to the Moscow Times, a free English language newspaper, which appears to be Moscow's equivalent of the LA Weekly (minus the hot personal ads), the new law essentially prohibits:
... spreading information aimed at shaping non-traditional sexual behavior, promoting the attractiveness of nontraditional relations, distorting understanding of social equivalency of traditional and nontraditional sexual behavior, imposing information about nontraditional sexual relations, provoking interest in such relations.
"Traditional relations" apparently include heterosexual man and woman, heterosexual woman and man with mistress, and heterosexual divorced man and woman who live in the same apartment because it's too expensive to live separately.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church supports the law and has condemned the legalization of same-sex marriages as "a dangerous sign of the coming of the apocalypse."
Fortunately for the Patriarch, Russian society maintains a robust heterosexual ethos. Sixty-year old President Putin exemplifies this masculine ideal. He is definitely not gay. He is as far from gay as Moscow is from Vladivostok (A little under 4000 miles). An outdoorsman, he is often photographed hunting and fishing with his shirt off, his heaving pecs and sinewy forearms throb with raw virility, his rounded buttocks so rock hard you could bounce a ten-ruble coin off 'em. His sculpted abs ripple as I take him into my hot, hungry- -
What I'm trying to say is, the dude definitely works out. A lot. He's a macho, macho man.
I've been told that Russians are "not ready" for gay rights. And that makes sense. You absolutely have to be prepared. An entire generation would have to completely reconsider its wardrobe and grooming habits, not to mention renewing that gym membership. It's going to take a lot of crunches to get ready. Tolerance is like long jumping. You need the right outfit and at least 25 years of stretching. No one wants to pull a hammy.
Recently, Moscow celebrated a holiday called "Paratrooper's Day," a tradition from Soviet times that honors the elite of the Russian military. This celebration is not for the timid. I was told that in addition to honoring the service of the veterans, it was also a chance for comrades to gather together, share war stories, march in a parade, get drunk and rampage around Gorky Park beating the shit out of foreigners, gays, long hairs, and anyone who is not them.
At first glance, it sounds a little like our St. Patrick's Day.
But when I was told it culminates with some of the soldiers stripping down to their underwear to dance and frolic in a fountain, it reminded me of another type of parade that takes place all around the world.
So, in the interest of clearing up any possible confusion and supporting the anti "gay propaganda" law, please click on the red links to view images of these two very different celebrations, one clearly marked "gay," the other "not gay."
I certainly hope we're all clear now.