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Andrew, unfortunately I think the vast majority of the Russian population is quite intolerant toward LGBTQ's. As a country, they haven't moved socially forward with this issue as other countries have. When you have the influence of the ultra-conservative Russian Orthodox Church and a bigoted, tyrannical government working in tandem to shape the social views of the entire country, the general population doesn't know any better. Media is strictly controlled and dissenting opinions are not tolerated. Generation after generation is brainwashed to be homophobic. That's a difficult cycle to break. It's so troubling to see this kind of systemic hatred.
I also wonder how large of a role the Russian Orthodox Church has had in shaping people's attitudes there.
Russian TV offers gay people one-way tickets to leave
A Russian religious television channel is offering to pay for one-way plane tickets for gay people serious about emigrating from the country.
"Just recently, California - the most liberal state in the USA by the way - proposed to facilitate the granting of green cards to Russian perverts," said TV host Andrei Afanasyev.
World Alert: Germany legalizes gay marriage in parliamentary vote
I think the rat race is getting much worse, and young people are more than ever unable to look outside their own bubble.
There is something that happens as activists get older, it seems we get tired and a new generation takes over the struggle, some with very different goals and themes. I remember those early days when women wanted the vote, blacks and minorities wanted access to opportunity, physically handicapped wanted to be able to get around in wheelchairs, elders wanted protection from poverty in old age, children wanted to not be hit, physically, as they developed, and countless other campaigns.
All those human rights came into being to one extent or another after horrendous struggles. The younger generation benefit from those efforts and they stand on the shoulders of giants, unaware, all too often, of the history of hardships imposed on people because of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, poverty, and ignorance.
I am too tired to engage in action and even discussion wears me out. Life as we know it may be coming to an end and I haven't got the stamina to do anything but read about permaculture, putter in my greenhouse, and tend to my few raised beds. I have nice chats with other permaculturists; they are a friendly lot!
I choose not to say, "God help us all!"
I do choose to write about my garden and read about others' gardens.
I also choose to find something full of wonder each and every day and wallow in my gratitude.
Pride parades have morphed into an entirely different entity than how they started, for good or bad. Parades now are sponsored by a slew of corporations such as wall street banks, airlines, grocery chains, beer and alcohol companies, etc. It's nice to have the support, but are they embracing us only for the positive marketing and for making money from us? Some people want to do away with the corporations.
Inclusion of certain groups has always brought controversy. I think back to all the years when NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association) marched in Chicago's pride parades. Fast forward to today, some people are protesting the inclusion of police departments, or even to have the police perform security detail for our parades. LGBTQ people of color especially don't like the inclusion of law enforcement groups. LGBTQ people of all colors and ethnicities should be against any type of police brutality. The Chicago Police Department has LGBTQ officers in uniform marching in their own group in the parade. Should they not be allowed?
The Charlotte/Trump situation is quite unique. Trump says he supports us, but he hasn't done anything to prove it. Additionally, he has surrounded himself with countless people who each have their individual histories of actively fighting against our rights, and even our mere existence. Trump is not standing in their way.
Some people question whether Trump is even a "true" Republican. Whatever direction he politically leans, for this moment in time he is the leader and megaphone for the Republican party, and they certainly are no friend to the LGBTQ community.
I think I would have been inclined to include the Trump supporters in the Charlotte parade because I support free speech and because those folks are, indeed, part of the LGBTQ community.
Chicago's parade has been VERY political for quite some time, with politicians falling over themselves to participate, from governors, state and federal senators, congresspeople and representatives, mayors, aldermen, and everyone in between. Overall, their participation is well received. Of course, our vocal support for them is contingent upon their voting record. Frankly, each politician honestly knows beforehand whether their decision should be "yes or no" to participate.
The parade is also full of LGBTQ-friendly churches. Although I'm an atheist, I support their right to be there, even though most, if not all, of our opposition stems from religious beliefs. Sidenote: a longtime gay friend of mine is an ordained minister and for years headed LGBTQ congregations.
It's all intricately complicated. Overall, if the support is there, I'm for inclusion.
Commerce Dept. Removes Gender, Sexual Orientation From Equal Employment Statement
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