As our nation and government continue to be rocked by the continuing revelations of the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia, the global LGBTQ community is equally alarmed by the horrific reports that gay men are being persecuted by Chechen police. Men believed to be gay are being rounded up and held in secret detention, where they are beaten and humiliated. Chechen officials are denouncing such claims by asserting, “It is impossible to detain and harass people we simply do not have in the country.” Hundreds in Europe, America and Australia have protested against “gay concentration camps” and “gay genocide” in Chechnya, while thousands have signed the petitions of Russian LGBTQ activists and Amnesty International.
Following the outcry of Russian LGBTQ activists, supported by global human rights organizations, and France’s filing an official complaint in the International Criminal Court, the Russian government is going through the motions of investigating these claims of a purge of gay men in Chechnya. Due to the threat of severe homophobia in Russia and Chechnya, victims are loath to testify to what has happened to them. Human rights groups are advocating for Moscow to provide solid protection and full anonymity to victims and allow remote testimonies to those willing to come forward…while most European embassies, including the British embassy, had declined to provide visas or travel documents to those seeking asylum.
Guided by our principles, Unitarian Universalists are called to advocate for international human rights and to be a voice for the voiceless by promoting the inherent worth and dignity of all that is living, including LGBTQ people worldwide.
- The UUA stands against the torture of LGBTQ people by Chechen officials.
- The UUA condemns the invisibilization of LGBTQ people in Chechnya.
- The UUA calls upon the Trump Administration to join German Chancellor Angela Merkel in holding Putin accountable to a full investigation of Chechen brutality against gay men and LGBTQ people in Chechnya and throughout the Russian state.
- The UUA calls all Western embassies to provide visas and travel arrangements to allow for the full protection and anonymity of people seeking asylum from Chechen brutality.
- The UUA invites all people of faith to join in solidarity by urging churches, mosques, synagogues, and congregations to resist homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, gender-phobia, and all other marginalizations that promotes hate in the name of religion.
Homophobia thrives in a climate of fear and ignorance. We must be vigilant and compassionate during these troubling times. Unitarian Universalists remain committed to the ongoing struggle to recognize and affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person, including persons of all race, class, nationality, culture, and creed who identify as LGBTQIA.