Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated in a recent interview his intention to prohibit marriage equality in the Russian constitution with an amendment.
Despite discrimination and violence against the community, LGBTQ people continue to fight and I take this opportunity to applaud their courage in the face of so much hatred.
As Russia updates its constitution, the Russian President had an idea: to prevent international organizations from poking their nose into the discrimination of LGBTQ people in Russia by banning marriage equality directly in the country’s constitution.
Vladimir Putin has therefore tabled an amendment to ban marriage for same-sex couples which has already been approved by the parliamentary committee.
The amendment will be introduced to the full parliament before April 22, 2020, when Russian voters are invited to take a stand for or against it.
While polls show that few Russians plan to go to vote, I remain confident that they will approve the ban.
Furthermore, the anti-equal-marriage amendment is part of a package of amendments. Voters should not only vote on LGBTQ rights but also on other amendments that reaffirm traditional values, which are very dear to the Russians. So how do you expect them to oppose the group of amendments?
“[T]hey are reinventing the vote as a referendum for traditional values,” Ekaterina Schulmann, a Moscow-based political scientist, told The New York Times.
“They gave it a label to attract both those in favor, and those opposed,” she added. “If turnout is properly high, then this new amended constitution will be legitimized both in the eyes of the internal audience and the international community.”
Aleksey Chesnakov, director of the Center for Current Policy, also confirms the Russian government’s strategy in another interview with the Times.
“A lot of people are concerned by these themes and the government needs moral legitimacy, so they are acting in this way,” Chesnakov said. “When you operate on moral principles you have more legitimacy in your own eyes and the eyes of the people.”
As you can see, things don’t look good for LGBTQ rights in Russia.
And the worst is yet to come because as I was saying last time, Putin is on his way to remaining president of Russia.
Indeed, Putin’s not usually allowed to run for a third consecutive term. In recent years, he had become “Prime Minister” while waiting to stand for re-election, but he recently asked for changes to be made, still part of the plan to update the constitution.
Thus, he offers to transfer certain powers from the President to the Prime Minister (lol) and Parliament. He also wishes to create a State Council, a kind of new deliberative chamber, whose purpose is not yet known.
All this is still very unclear, but one can understand Putin’s desire to remain the master of Russian power for life.