By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com January 20 2014 3:42 PM ET
Digital publication Vice published its complete five-part series exploring the resilience of Russia's embattled gay populace in a 30-minute feature Saturday.
The series, titled Young and Gay in Putin's Russia, explores the impact of the nationwide ban on so-called gay propaganda, which prohibits any positive discussion or depiction of LGBT identities in venues that might be accessible to minors. After the national legislation, which was based on similar local laws passed in several Russian provinces, passed the national State Duma unanimously, President Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law last June.
Vice sent a team to Russia in advance of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, set to begin next month in Sochi. The reporters were looking to "investigate the effects of the country's state-sanctioned homophobia," Vice notes. In doing so, Vice reporters discovered underground gay taxi services, self-defense classes, and small, resolute groups of activists committed to sounding the alarm about the law they call fascist. The series also explores the influence of the Russian Orthodox church in the Kremlin-backed homophobia, noting that a staggering 79 percent of the populace identifies as Orthodox.
Watch the complete report below.