Category: Russian Orthodox Church

Strange Bedfellows Scapegoat Russia’s Gays

Gay Pride in St. Petersburg, Russia

It's been a busy few months for anyone paying attention to issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Russia.

This summer the Russian parliament passed a bill prohibiting the so-called "promotion of nontraditional sexual relations" in the presence of minors, a euphemistic expression replacing language in the initial bill which more explicitly prohibited "the promotion of homosexual relations." The new law gives no explicit definition of "promotion," resulting in an environment where Russia's mass media has curtailed any reporting that might portray LGBT people or their relationships in a positive light.

Murder in Volgograd – Part 2

Orthodoxy or Death

In a previous post I presented some information about the murder in May 2013 of Vladislav Tornovoi in Volgograd, as well as some background information for framing the discourse around homosexuality in Russia. This post continues where the last left off.

Murder in Volgograd

Vladislav Tornovoi

I wrote this piece back in May, hoping for publication with the Divinity School's Sightings column. But writing about current events is like trying to hit a moving target. Before it could be published, there were new developments in the case, requiring significant revision to remain under a 750-word limit. So I've decided to post here. This is the first installment on this subject.

Russian Church-State Relations: Variations on a Theme

an aerial picture of the old Moscow Pool

I first visited Moscow in December of 1989 as a tourist on winter break from a program in Russian & Eastern Studies at the University of Kentucky. During one of many bus tours, we stopped at the Kropotkinskaya metro station and piled out into the snow to take pictures of a gigantic, steaming, outdoor swimming pool.

Russian Orthodox & Queer

St. Nicholas

My hat is off to Victor de Villa Lapidis for his letter, sharing some of the trials of being gay and Orthodox while also fanning the embers of hope through the remembering of Russia's queer* Orthodox sons: Soloviev, Gogol, Brianchaninov, Leontiev, Tchaikovsky, Florensky...