Human Rights Somehow Leaving Out A Portion Of Humans

by chelsea-martin on September 11, 2013 - 12:45pm

In an article posted on September 5, 2013, in The Globe and Mail, by Reuters, states that a member of the Russian President ruling party brought up the idea of a new law to take away the custody rights concerning children who have gay parents. This law is said to include homosexuality to a list of conditions that end in the parents losing their children, such as drugs and child abuse. On the draft submitted to the Russian parliament, by Alexei Zhuravlyov, stated that a parent having sexual contact with a member of the same sex would cause psychological damage to the child. It also stated that the number of people with a “non-traditional” sexual orientation in between 5% and 7% and it is said that a third of those people have children. It was unclear as to whether this pitch had a good chance of becoming a law; however it trails other legislations that have been signed by the president which are said to be discriminatory, by rights activists and Western government, towards homosexuals. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991, homosexuality was no longer considered a crime, however many Russians still believe that it can be cured with medical treatment or that it should be a crime. The president explained that Russia did appreciate the gay population because they were fans of a homosexual composer; however, gay activists claim that they are being blamed for low birth rates and HIV/AIDS epidemics. Other laws have been made, one preventing them from adopting children and others which ban them from promoting sexual relations that were non-traditional around children. These laws have caused uproar in the West, and there are calls for a boycott for the 2014 Olympics, being held in Russia. The purpose of this article was to demonstrate the social issue of discrimination towards the homosexual community in Russia. This is an extreme problem because society is supposed to be equal and accept everyone, there shouldn’t be discrimination towards people based on personal beliefs, however, in this situation, the homosexuality community in Russia is being discriminated against, which isn’t how society should be.

            I feel that this an extreme problem for not only the people of Russia but people everywhere. It shows that discrimination still exists and that people who are in government have the power to make certain people feel unwelcome, because of the government’s beliefs. I feel the president isn’t doing what is best for society and is only thinking about a very small portion of Russia’s citizens, he should examine the point of view of the rest of his citizens and also do what is best for the majority in society. The boycott may not be the best idea; however it can really open the government’s eyes. The Olympics are something that countries take great pride in running, but if people decide to boycott it, Russia will not be very proud of the outcome. Will the boycott include every country participating in the Olympics? I feel that it will be very difficult to get every other country involved, however maybe only some not partaking will cause the attitude in Russia to change, because it wouldn’t really be considered the Olympics if not every country partaking was there. I think it is truly remarkable that so many countries are making an effort to stop this discrimination.

Comments

I agree with what you are saying about Russia's discrimination towards homosexuals and also that the Olympics boycott is not the best idea. The government is probably aware of this boycott, and if that doesn't change their minds, then when the time comes for the actual boycott, nothing may even change. Yes, it will reflect badly on the Russian government, but because of their discrimination, they already look unfavorable to many. After all, it has been featured on the news and a vodka boycott has happened.

Furthermore, Olympic boycotts are not new; the Summer Olympics of 1980 held in Moscow (Russia, again) was boycotted by over 64 countries (including the Canada and the United States) and the people who were most affected were the athletes (those who couldn't compete as well the winners who didn't get to compete with other worthy but absent adversaries) rather than the government. Moreover, the Olympics is simply an international sporting event uniting the world--it should not be used as a means of sending any kind of message.

This link elaborates more on why the Olympics shouldn't be used as a means of boycott.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/08/16/f-vp-schlesinger-russia-ga...

Most of the articles in the class focus on the gay rights situation in Russia but this article was the one that peaked my interest because it first mentioned the fact that a law may be put in place taking custody rights from same-sex parents. This seems outrageous to me, many steps below how African Americans were treated in the United States but still outrageous in today’s world. The United States has its own problem with restricting gay rights but unlike the U.S., Russia seems to be regressing rather than advancing toward equality. Russia is not only putting laws in place to restrict homosexuals but it also seems to be spreading propaganda and ideas such as homosexuals causing “psychological damage” to children. Having gay people in my family, I was always raised to treat gays equally and they’re really just like everyone else. You can’t pick and choose to give equal rights to some people and not others. This is most likely attributed to my family upbringing and my community, where most everybody is very open to gay rights. Essentially my perspective has been shaped to include everyone in the pursuit of equality and in my opinion it is important that something needs to be done to get gays equal rights not just in Russia but around the world. I agree with pretty much everything you said in your piece.

I agree with what you are saying here! I think this is disgusting that Russia is stooping so low as to deny what are, in my opinion, basic human rights. I don't think that you can do anything about your sexual orientation. You are who you are, and we should embrace it. Everyone is different and obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinion on gay rights and marriage. Some people's religion and moral values of right and wrong influence this opinion, but regardless I think it is safe to say that all humans deserve equal treatment.
The fact that the Russian government is going so far as to ban a gay couple's right to have children is completely insane to me. Many homophobes think that if you have gay parents, you automatically are going to grow up to be gay as well. I find that concept is so illogical and ignorant, considering there is no evidence that I know of to prove this. Also, though gay couples cant physically have a child with both of their DNA, they have few options to start a family with the help of adoption agencies or medical specialists. Denying the right to have a family is just saddening, seeing as it could be considered to be the reason for human life in the first place. There has got to be hundreds of thousands of straight couples worldwide that could be seen as unfit parents, yet there is no government law stopping them from having children. Also, if gay couples are willing to pay the costly expenses that are required to have children, an assumption could be made that they genuinely want and would love their child. That is just my opinion, but this is a great post and I would love to hear more of your thoughts!

I also did my summary on the new laws in Russia and I totally agree with you it is unfair for people to be discriminated upon because of the sexual orientation. Although the government of Russia is allowed to change their laws in their countries I believe that they should overlook the laws while they are hosting the Olympic game. It is an honor for them to have been chosen to host such an event and they should follow the laws/principals the Olympic committee has established. Russia chooses to ask to host the games they should at least have the decency to follow its laws. However I don’t believe that boycotting the Olympics is the right thing to do. Yes, every athlete should have the right to compete without discrimination. If athlete chose to boycott the Olympic, I believe that it isn't going to change anything with Russia government.

I'm responding to this because I feel strongly about this topic. It's wrong that the Russians are so against Gay people adopting Children. If a child is abandoned and doesn't have a home, then why shouldn't a gay couple take care of them? Especially since a Gay couple would have to really want children in order to make the effort to Adopt because it's so much harder for them to adopt children, whereas there are heterosexual couples who have children but they don't want them at all. So in the end the child of the gay couple is more loved and appreciated and accepted in the home than the child of the heterosexual couple. Also a home where your loved and appreciated is much better than an orphanage. Other people have no right to deprive abandoned children from finding a loving family.

I'm responding to this because I feel strongly about this topic. It's wrong that the Russians are so against Gay people adopting Children. If a child is abandoned and doesn't have a home, then why shouldn't a gay couple take care of them? Especially since a Gay couple would have to really want children in order to make the effort to Adopt because it's so much harder for them to adopt children, whereas there are heterosexual couples who have children but they don't want them at all. So in the end the child of the gay couple is more loved and appreciated and accepted in the home than the child of the heterosexual couple. Also a home where your loved and appreciated is much better than an orphanage. Other people have no right to deprive abandoned children from finding a loving family.

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