I've no doubt that's true, so how would you try to change their minds?To the point: Russia is not Spain, not America, not even Argentina. It is Russia. OK, I am a Pole who grew up in Russia, it was not a jar of honey, my bias is obvious. Still: I will go out on a limb here and say: If tomorrow there will be a referendum on whether to restore the Soviet-time criminalization of homosexuality, 75% of Russians will vote Yes.
Why "of all things"? It's a fairly central issue of universal relevance. It directly affects anywhere between 4 and 15 million Russians who are living under severe and brutal repression. We've seen what happens to anyone who self-identifies as LGBT in Russia. As a LGBT activist in Russia I'd be delighted to see just a little bit of the heavy lifting done by the international community. I wouldn't expect it to have an immediate impact, as the actions of the early LGBT movement elsewhere in the world didn't, but bit by bit Russians will learn that the civilised attitude to take is the opposite path to the one they are on now. If they get embarrassed at their own showcase because of their brutality against gays then it could have some major positive benefit.Americans and Europeans parading on the Russian soil in support of gay rights, of all things? In a country where nobody is sure whether they have any rights at all?