Why is Russia so opposed to LGBT equality?

When discussing such issues in Russia we need to look at the past in order to understand the present realities of the Russian society.

First of all, Russian people are mostly traditional (sometimes very religious) social conservatives who live in a very homogeneous society. Also, there was a period in the 1990’s when liberalism in society was very much prevalent and en vogue. This was also the period when everything was falling apart economically, infrastructurally and demographically. There’s a very strong feeling here that the suffering of the 1990’s was at least partly, if not mostly, the result of Russia adopting “Western-style” liberalism in both economic and social policies. Now some might say there is a bit of a backlash, return to the “traditional Russian” values.

Today,  government policies do not make it illegal to be LGBT, but there are restrictions in what has been dubbed the ‘promotion of an LGBT lifestyle.’ Laws like these reflect the a generally socially conservative population.

While LGBT persons are not allowed to marry here (although same-sex marriages between British nationals were recently allowed in Russia at the British consulate) and Moscow’s gay pride parade of 2014 did not receive a permit, there are many openly LGBT people living in Russia, most Russians will not give a second glance to LGBT couples walking down the street, or otherwise discriminate against them in their personal lives.

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