De facto Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov has sent an ominous warning that anyone who tries to organize a public LGBT-focused event will have three minutes to decide "what kind of sexual orientation they should stick to," reports Pink News.
Aksynov’s words illutrate the brutal antigay crackdown that human rights advocates feared would follow Russia's annexation of the former Ukrainian province.
"We do not need such people," Aksyonov told Russian news agencies Interfax and Itar-Tass during a government meeting. "Our police and self-defense forces will react immediately and in three minutes will explain to them what kind of sexual orientation they should stick to.”
Aided by pro-Russian forces inside Crimea, Russia's strong-arm takeover of the region this year brought with it the draconian antigay law signed by President Vladimir Putin that forbids promotion of "homosexual propaganda" to minors. Along with the law has come fear and violence for LGBT Crimeans.
As has been the case in cities throughout Russia since its enactment, the law has already been used in the Crimean capital of Sebastopol to cancel a planned LGBT Pride event, which was scheduled for April.
Aksyonov provided further evidence of the antigay atmosphere in the meeting. Employing the same language homophobic politicians in the U.S. and elsewhere have used for decades, Aksyonov admonished Crimean parents that they should bring their children up "with a positive attitude to family and traditional values," according to Pink News.