How Putin is winning the anti-gay vote

The video is nauseating. It is the work of the services of Evgueni Prigozhin, a relative of Vladimir Putin, known to finance “troll factories” and hurry hundreds of Russian mercenaries in Syria and on the African continent. This is a 1.5 minute film aimed at encouraging the public to vote on the 1er July in favor of a constitutional reform wanted by the Russian president.

The scene takes place in the future, in 2035, in an orphanage whose manager is preparing to welcome an adoptive couple. The woman addresses a boy of about 5 years old, who is lacing his shoes. “Petia, are you happy to see your mom and dad?” The kid nods. Then she invites the father to come closer. He takes Petia by the hand and leads him outside. “Where’s my mom?” Asked the child. “Here is your new mom,” replies the father. An effeminate man with make-up then gets out of the car and offers the boy a robe as a gift. Petia breaks down. An employee of the orphanage spits on the ground. “Don’t worry, now you’re going to have a full family,” says the father. A voiceover intervenes: “Is it Russia that you choose? Decides for the future of the country. Vote for amendments to the Constitution. “

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This subtle sequence imagines the scenario in which the country would plunge if the “no” won in the next referendum. Because, to ensure the success of its constitutional reform intended to allow Putin to represent himself until 2036, the Kremlin thinks it has found the vein: glorifying traditional values. Among these, “faith in God”, “the memory of the defenders of the fatherland”, “the defense of historical truth”. So many references engraved in the fundamental law to which marriage is now added. Not just any: “the union of a man and a woman”, “one who creates dignified educational conditions for a child in a family”. So there is no question of opening the door to legalizing same-sex marriage, a sign of perversion of the West in the eyes of Moscow.

Electrically Tortured in Chechnya

A ban in the right line of the positions defended by Putin. Its emblematic measure? A law adopted in June 2013 which sanctions heavy fines and prison terms “propaganda of homosexuality”. A text which has since become an instrument of repression against the gay community.

Putin, it is true, rides on general sentiment. In Russia, 80% of the population considers homosexual relations to be condemnable. What explain the silence of Moscow in the face of persecution in Chechnya, a Caucasian republic where homosexuals suffer hell. Arbitrary detentions, electric tortures, murders … More than a hundred victims have been recorded in the past two years.

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The St. Petersburg-based Federal News Agency (FAN), owned by businessman Prigozhin, therefore saw fit to broadcast such a clip (deleted by YouTube). And thus relaunch the referendum campaign interrupted in April due to the epidemic. The math is simple: an anti-gay vote is more likely to mobilize the electorate than a vote for the president, whose popularity has never been so low since he came to power.

Ironically, actor Alexander Filimonenko, who plays the “new mother” in the film, plans to take part in the election of the 1er July. But he will vote “no”.

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