Russia's ban on gay "propaganda" and copycat laws throughout the region have created a "license to commit violence against" LGBT people, "give the permission" for "street violence" and "create legitimacy for violence," according to human rights advocates working in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Kyrgyszstan who spoke last night at a panel at Columbia University.Read the entire article here.
Russia's spate of anti-gay laws has quickly influenced neighboring countries, part of what Columbia professor Tanya Domi called "the Putin project" of solidifying Russia's influence in the region.
I will be moderating a panel at The Harriman Institute, Columbia University, on Monday, April 14th, 6:15 p.m. Joined by Olena Shevchenko, chairman of Insight, and advocacy organization for LGBTI human rights that is based in Kyiv; Anna Kirey, a researcher on LGBTI human rights, Human Rights Watch and Matthew Schaff, a program officer at Freedom House who reports on LGBTI issues. This is so timely, especially given the xenophobia exacted against the LGBTI community in Russia,which is having a negative effect in the "near abroad" of Russia. If you are in New York City, stop by the Harriman Institute to hear the conversation by these human rights defenders.