Russia Has a Weird Plan to Stop Gays From Joining Military

The Russian military goes much further than the antiquated U.S. policy of "don't ask, don't tell" with new guidelines that have recruits facing odd questions and physical searches.

BY Lucas Grindley

January 24 2013 4:00 PM ET

Russia's Defense Ministry has a novel idea on how to root out gay people from its military — body searches.

The Moscow Times reports that new recruits could face searches of their genitals and buttocks while authorities look for tattoos that would indicate they're gay. Recruits would also be asked about their sexual history and "whether they have a girlfriend and whether it is important for her to be faithful." The official recommendations are part of guidelines issued by the Defense Ministry and first reported by the Izvestia newspaper.

The Moscow Times also reports that although most gay Russians don't wear tattoos to indicate their sexual orientation, former prison inmates are more likely to sport a tattoo — sometimes which has been forcibly applied.

The antigay climate from Russia's government has recently been on display as lawmakers consider a "gay propaganda" law that would ban anyone in the country from talking about homosexuality if it could influence minors. The law is modeled after one already passed in St. Petersburg. Protestors who staged a kiss-in this week outside the Russian parliament were met with violence from self-identified members of the hardline Russian Orthodox Church.

Tags: World

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