Russia puts a Taboo on LGBTQ
This week, Russian leaders will vote on a bill that would make it a crime to speak about LGBTQ issues. Russians could not openly acknowledge that they or someone they know is an LGBTQ person. No one would be allowed to write about the existence of LGBTQ people. Instead, this information would be silenced, as if the LGBTQ community never even existed.
Supposedly, the law is designed to outlaw the ‘propaganda of homosexuality’ to minors, but they aren’t defining ‘propaganda’ at all. “It theoretically allows the ban of anything anywhere where kids could be present,” said a prominent Russian activist.
That’s right, they could literally make it illegal to say ‘gay’ in the street. Ridiculous and impossible to enforce as this may seem, the message that it would send out to the LGBTQ community at large is truly frightful. And for those of us in the Harry Potter fandom, with the words of Albus Dumbledore engraved in our hearts, this bill’s true purpose is loud and clear.
“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
This bill promotes unwarranted fear of the LGBTQ community. Of course Dumbledore would have his own special reasons for being infuriated and disgusted by such a law, and we in the Harry Potter Alliance are proud to stand by his side. But all fandoms aside, imagine living in a country that considered you so abnormal that you couldn’t even be mentioned publicly. That is literally what this law is trying to do: make being LGBTQ a crime so heinous that it can’t even be talked about. As if to make this purpose loud and clear, the Russian bill actually lumps homosexuality and trans-sexuality together with paedophilia. It’s unthinkable, and deadly, and would effectively crush all Russian LGBTQ people and their supporters into a life of silence.
This law is a lot like the Taboo that the Death-Eaters put on Voldemort’s name. By making the words themselves into crimes, they can punish both the ‘perpetrators’ and their supporters, just for speaking out. In fact, this law has already been in place in the city of Ryazan, and was used arrest, fine, and detain activists who tried to educate minors about homosexuality. With it’s current wording, however, there’s no limit to what they could consider ‘propaganda.’ It would be up to a court to decide the difference between promoting a homosexual lifestyle, and saying ‘I love you’ in a public place. With it’s current wording, All Out.org warns that such a bill could effectively “make millions of people invisible with the stroke of a pen.”
So, what can you do? As members of Dumbledore’s Army, we know that words are the greatest magic of all, and no one has the right to restrict them. Once again, the awesome people at All Out are leading the world’s protest of this tyrannical bill. Sign the petition here, share it, and let the world know that The Harry Potter Generation won’t stand idle while people are suppressed.