The New York TimesThe New York Times

'I'm afraid for my future': Proposed laws threaten gay life in Russia

By Valerie Hopkins and Valeriya Safronova

04 Nov 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

Russia's government has treated gay life as a Western import that is harmful to traditional values and society. Now new laws are set to intensify the crackdown on L.G.B.T.Q. freedom.

MOSCOW — In an industrial block in northeastern Moscow on a recent Friday night, organizers of an LGBTQ-friendly art festival were assiduously checking IDs. No one under 18 allowed. They were trying to comply with a 2013 Russian law that bans exposing minors to anything that could be considered “gay propaganda.”

The organizers had good reason to be wary: Life has been challenging for gay Russians since the law passed, as the government has treated gay life as a Western import that is harmful to traditional Russian values and society.

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