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State Policies Regarding Sexual Minorities in Russia: From Russian Empire to Modern Day Russian Federation


This article is dedicated to detailed analysis of the historic context of Russian governmental policies regarding homosexual minorities. The main hypothesis of the paper is that Russian society as in fact any other society cannot be inherently homophobic. In the article we take an attempt to analyze how and why the attitude of society towards homosexuality has been changing through history. One of the conclusions that the author makes is that homophobia has not really been a historic cultural trait of Russian people, and that the rise of homophobia in the Russian society can be considered a relatively new phenomenon. Moreover, the author suggests that the rise in anti-homosexual sentiments in the Soviet Union and Russian Federation under Vladimir Putin has been caused mostly by the vector of the governmental policies utilized at the time. The paper includes a comparative analysis of four periods of Russian history: nineteenth–twentieth century Russian Empire, Soviet Union, Russian Federation under the presidency of Boris Yeltsin and finally Russian Federation under the rule of Vladimir Putin. These periods are then contrasted one against another to demonstrate profound differences between how homosexuals were generally perceived by society and what kind of position the government at the time held on the matter.

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Eremin, A., Petrovich-Belkin, O.K. State Policies Regarding Sexual Minorities in Russia: From Russian Empire to Modern Day Russian Federation. Sexuality & Culture 26, 289–311 (2022).

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  • State policy
  • Decision making process
  • ANTI-homosexual policy
  • Homophobia
  • Sexual minorities