The city of West Hollywood is making strides to provide asylum to LGBT Russian immigrants fleeing the oppression created by President Vladmir Putin’s 2013 Gay Propaganda Law, which makes it a federal crime in Russia to recognize homosexuality as a societal norm. Putin’s Gay Propoganda Law, known in the American media as the “Russian Anti-Gay Law”, was unanimously approved and enacted on June 30, 2013. It resulted in an immediate surge of violence, harassment and persecution against the LGBT community, as well as a 34% increase in applications for asylum. Russian LGBT Network chairman Igor Kochetkov said in a statement that the law “[has] essentially legalized violence against LGBT people.” West Hollywood’s history as a safe-haven for the LGBT community and its huge Russian community along the eastern side of the city encouraged officials to create a working group designated to conducting a needs assessment and developing a specific program for Russian LGBT asylum seekers, according to a pilot program update published on May 2, 2016.
December 22 / Canyon News