Atheism and the persecution of homosexuals

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Atheism and the persecution of homosexuals is one common criticism of atheism, as militant atheists have often persecuted those belonging to the LGBTQ community. Atheist states, as well as atheist organizations, have historically persecuted homosexuals.

Atheist states

Soviet Union

In the atheistic communist state of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), "a person could end up in prison for being openly gay."[1] This policy was enforced after 1934, and went hand in hand with the Soviet Union's official doctrine of militant atheism, which led to the persecution of Christians in the USSR.[2] As such, homosexual members of the intelligentsia often suppressed their homosexuality and married women.[3] The "oppression of homosexuals" in the atheist state of the USSR was noted by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International.[4] Soviet homosexuals, in the 1970s and 1980s, attempted to establish the Gay Laboratory (Gei-laboratoriia), which sought to "examine the implications for Russians of the ideals of gay liberation and to consider the new threat that AIDS posed to same-sex love in Soviet conditions" but under "pressure from KGB surveillance and threats, the group disbanded in 1984".[4] After the collapse of the Soviet Union, homosexuality and homosexual acts are no longer illegal in Russia as they were during the previous Soviet régime.[5]

References

  1. Shiraev, Eric (2014-03-04). A History of Psychology. SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781452276595. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “In the Soviet Union before 1990, a person could end up in prison for being openly gay.” 
  2. Turgeon, Lynn (1989). State & Discrimination: The Other Side of the Cold War (in English). M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 9780765621733. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “Homosexual acts between consenting males only became illegal in early 1934. To this day, some of these acts are punishable by five years' imprisonment. A highly publicized case occurred in 1974, when the celebrated Georgian movie director, Sergei Paradzhanov, was sentenced to six years' imprisonment for practicing homosexuality and incitement to suicide. Historical, there has been extensive discrimination in the USSR on both religious and political grounds. Religious persecution and the pursuit of atheistic educational policies by the state were especially great before World War II and, particularly, after a resolution of April 8, 1929, "On Religious Cults."” 
  3. Mezey, Susan Gluck (27 March 2007). Queers in Court: Gay Rights Law and Public Policy. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 19. ISBN 9780742568525. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “During the 1930s, when homosexuals were persecuted in the Soviet Union, and he was adviced to repress his homosexuality, he married.” 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Healey, Dan (15 October 2001). Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226322339. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “In the West, organizations monitoring political dissidence such as Amnesty International then regarded the oppression of homosexuals as irrelevant to their mandates. Nonetheless, by the late 1970s and early 1980s, a handful of Soviet homosexuals employed the techniques of the wider dissident movement to challenge their society's persecution of same-sex love. The short-lived "Gay Laboratory" (Gei-laboratoriia), a group of about thirty men and women appeared in Leningrad in 1983 under the leadership of Aleksandr Zaremba, and with contacts with Finnish lesbian and gay organizations and the International Gay Association. The Gay Laboratory sought to examine the implications for Russians of the ideals of gay liberation and to consider the new threat that AIDS posed to same-sex love in Soviet conditions. Under pressure from KGB surveillance and threats, the group disbanded in 1984 as members either emigrated or fell silent.” 
  5. Nazworth, Napp (22 November 2013). What You Hear About Gays in Russia Is 'Largely False,' Expert Says. The Christian Post. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “Homosexuality and homosexual acts are not illegal in Russia, Ruse explained, like they were during the previous Soviet regime. Gays in Russia live without fear of reprisal from their government. An Internet search of "gay Moscow" reveals a few dozen bars and nightclubs that cater to an openly gay clientele. And, popular Russian television shows feature openly gay characters.”

See also