Milking the last drop of absurd homophobia
Did you know that your choice of milk brand could be turning your child gay, or worse, into less of a homophobe?
In Russia, Vesyoly Molochnik milk has been slammed by anti-gay groups for surreptitiously promoting and supporting homosexuality to the nation’s young. Apparently having packaging featuring a jolly farmer and a cow standing in front of a rainbow is enough to violate St Petersburg’s anti-gay propaganda law.
Good thing this didn’t happen in Australia, or else Senator Cory Bernadi would be stamping his own strange take on the whole situation. Again.
The law has been in place since March 2012, and punishes such offenders with fines, the size of which is dependent on whether they are an individual, state official or a business.
Ostensibly this measure has been put in place to protect the children (won’t somebody please think of the children!) who apparently are unable to think critically and analytically, discern right from wrong or proper from improper. When the bill was being proposed, supporters claimed that in the case of minors, such ‘propaganda negatively affects their spiritual and moral development.”
So, St Petersburg is saying loud and clear that it does not think homosexuality is ok, and anyone attempting to convince anyone else of such should be punished.
Sponsor of the legislation Vitaly Milanov had already set his sights on Madonna early this year based on some twitter comments in the lead up to one of her concerts, so in a country that has recently underlined the fact that it is prone to overreaction, let’s hope they don’t get wind of the Care Bears or the fact that soy milk has oestrogenic effects, including promoting slight breast development in males.
While it is all well and good to make fun of St Petersburg for being blatantly ridiculous and outdated, this anti-gay propaganda law points to an underlying attitude that prevails not just in Russia but worldwide. Homophobia is real, it is prevalent and it is everywhere; including in our laws.
America: only recently had its “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy turned over. England and Australia: still hotly debating gay marriage. New Zealand and China: gay couples cannot adopt. Singapore and Malaysia: homosexuality still illegal, with penalties including whipping and prison.
In China, homosexuality was only legalised in 1997. On and on it goes, with different countries having different things being “okayed”, “not okayed” and ignored completely.
Only nine countries offer no kind of discrimination towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual communities: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, and Spain.
Other countries may be on their way, but they are still dithering; recognising relationships but not marriage, preventing discrimination but also adoption. Ultimately their actions speak louder than their lip service, clearly demonstrating a prevailing current of suspicion, fear and prejudice.
This attitude to homosexuality is frankly baffling. Over the course of history different societies’ views have varied wildly, from punishable by death, to a sign of masculinity, to generalised apathy.
In America it was classified as a mental disease from 1952 to 1973. No one has actually stopped to explain why it is such a bad thing; they just tell each other it is, and eventually all that lingers is the mentality.
All in all it seems like homophobia is learned behaviour with no logic to prop it up; something which St Petersburg’s anti-gay laws seem determined to preserve.
Four legs good, two legs bad, Alpha Plus is better than Beta, rainbows are evil, and so on, etc - condition them while they’re still young.
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