This from an article in the Wall Street Journal – hardly a left-wing rag – on June 12:
” Russia’s Parliament passed a bill Tuesday that bans the promotion of homosexual ‘propaganda’ and mandates stiff fines and jail terms for violators in what critics fear will lead to anti-gay repression.”:
The real point is a broader one: Putin has clearly concluded that, for the moment anyway, repression works. This is not a story that is, especially, about gay rights. It is about rights in Russia more generally. There is not a week without one or another story in one or another former Soviet Socialist Republic that reminds of a few simple, timeless and transcendent verities.
First, Russia has no extended experience with anything resembling liberal democracy.
Second, once an autocrat, always an autocrat. (Turks, take note.)
Third, rights movements of all kinds threaten those who crave control.
Fourth, followers who favor freedom – and who are willing to risk to secure it – tend in autocracies to be in the minority.
Fifth, autocrats are learning that even in this day and age – when brutality is easily tweeted – nothing is as effective in stifling dissent as force.
Sixth, the lesson learned by dissenters is that unless you’re a Diehard – a follower willing to risk life and limb – the thing to do is to shut up and go home.
Seventh, change may take a while and progress proceeds in fits and starts. But the Putin’s of the world will not finally stop gay rights – or for that matter any other human rights. The tide of history is too strong indefinitely to resist.