By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com September 09 2013 11:57 AM ET
Elena Kostyuchenko, an LGBT Russian journalist who writes for Novaya Gazeta, last week announced on Twitter her campaign to out closeted Russian lawmakers who continue to escalate Russia's violently anti-LGBT climate. Kostyuchenko already began her research, and promised to out those members of Russia's parliament, called the State Duma, who voted in favor with laws that criminalize so-called propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations, and those who vote for a proposed law that would remove children from their gay and lesbian parents.
Kostyuchenko, who was arrested in May for participating in an unsanctioned Pride rally in Moscow, offered her email address on Twitter before asking for "information, correspondence, photographs … about the deputies of the State Duma concerning LGBT" activities, according to a translation from David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement.
Kostyuchenko said publishing the private same-sex exploits of Russian members of parliament was a "nuclear bomb" that should only be used as a "last resort," but given State Duma deputy Alexei Zhuravlev's proposal last week of a bill that would remove children from the homes of gay and lesbian parents, Kostyuchenko said that "such a time has come." Kostyuchenko promised she will publish her report outing closeted parliamentarians on the day the bill gets its first reading in the State Duma, reports a translation at Gay Russia. Zhuravlev's bill likens homosexuality to drug use and child abuse, claiming all three are reasonable grounds for parents to lose legal custody of their children.
Kostyuchenko also said the only closeted deputies spared will be those who vote against the custody bill. "Others will disclosed," she tweeted Thursday. "This is a warning. They want to destroy our life, and we will destroy them."