Russian hockey journalist Slava Malamud
talks to us about the historic and cultural underpinnings
of Putin's LGBT pogrom. And hockey!
Russia has always been very socially conservative. This concerns not only gays, but also women and ethnic minorities. People in America don’t realize that the Soviet Union (at least after the 1920s) was a social conservative’s paradise. It was a monolithic society, with one, religion-like ideology uniting everyone, in which women were expected to know their place, abortion was prohibited, loud fashions scorned, modern music resisted, pornography criminalized and gays imprisoned.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1993, but the people’s attitudes haven’t changed much. The recent mass reintroduction of the Russian society to the extremely conservative Orthodox Church didn’t help, of course. But it merely gave the already existing hatred an ideological basis.