Religion and gays

Here are two stories in the Boston Globe today:

Hours before the State Duma passed the Kremlin-backed law in a 436-0 vote with one abstention, more than two dozen protesters were attacked by hundreds of antigay activists and then detained by police.

The bill banning the ‘‘propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations’’ still needs to be passed by the appointed upper house and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, but neither step is in doubt.

The measure is part of an effort to promote traditional Russian values instead of Western liberalism, which the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church see as corrupting Russian youth and contributing to the protests against Putin’s rule.

A widespread hostility to homosexuality is shared by much of Russia’s political and religious elite.  Lawmakers have accused gays of decreasing Russia’s already low birth rates and said they should be barred from government jobs, undergo forced medical treatment, or be exiled.

The State Duma passed another bill on Tuesday that makes offending religious feelings a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.

and:

Pope Francis lamented that a ‘‘gay lobby’’ was at work at the Vatican in private remarks to the leadership of a key Latin American church group — a stunning acknowledgment that appears to confirm earlier reports about corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See.

It makes me really want to join a religion … they’re so loving and inclusive. The bit about the demonstrators has a nice touch–they get beaten up, then arrested (I wonder what the charge was, beating themselves up?).

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