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Russia's Gay War
“Propaganda of homosexuality”: the wording sounds almost quaint in English, like a panicky phrase out of the 1970s backlash to the early gay liberation movement in the United States. But in Russia, the phrase is current: This week lawmakers have been talking of banning “propaganda of homosexuality” — whatever the phrase may mean.
The campaign began a couple of months ago, when two provincial Russian cities, Ryazan, in central Russia, and Arkhangelsk, in the north of the country, passed such laws. On Wednesday, St. Petersburg, Russia’s largest city, approved its own ban. The next day, lawmakers in Moscow promised to pass a similar measure in the capital, and the speaker of the upper house of Parliament declared it was time to take the ban national.
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