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Christian TV Station Offers 'Sodomites' a One-Way Ticket Out of Russia

Russia

"We really want you to return there, where you can openly submit to your sins."

dnlreynolds

A Christian television network wants to fly LGBT people out of Russia.

Tsargrad, an Orthodox Christian station, announced Thursday that it is offering "perverts," "sodomites," and others of "nontraditional sexual orientations" the chance to win a one-way ticket to leave, reports Newsweek.

Where it wants to send LGBT people is unclear, sparking speculation that the offer is a publicity stunt. This doubt is also fueled by a requirement to enter the competition. The station asked for "a medical certificate proving that they are sodomites or have other forms of perversion" -- but homosexuality is not classified as an illness in Russia.

But host Andrey Afanasyev, who referenced California as a place that might give "green cards to Russian perverts," said the offer was serious.

"This is not a joke," said Afanasyev in a Facebook video. "We really want you to return there, where you can openly submit to your sins."

By "there," Afanasyev is likely referring to Russia's European neighbors and the United States, whose support of LGBT rights has been framed as a key issue that divides Russia from the West. Recently, a Russian agency recommended that travelers to these locations receive hepatitis shots, warning that Pride events engender a "high" risk of transmisiion.

Russia's "gay propaganda" law, which was recently declared discriminatory by a European court, places restrictions on public demonstrations, protests, and media that can be seen by minors. And its inaction over reported abuse and murder of gay and bisexual men in Chechnya has been condemned by human rights activists.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.