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Belarusian state propaganda plays homophobia card
For some reason, TV presenter Azaronak is particularly keen on the topic of LGBT / Euroradio
Recently, Euroradio reported on anti-Semitic motives in Belarusian pro-government propaganda. But this is not the only types of intolerance found in their stories. Propagandists - involuntarily, by virtue of their personal convictions or at someone else's whim - often resort to homophobic statements.
"They promote perversion in schools"
"Can you see who is behind the revolution in Belarus? Bloody Bernard-Henri Lévy, God-fearing Nevzorov, the Russian liberal opposition who hates the church and prays to the Pussy Riot group. Feminists, LGBT, the European Union structures that pervert even the holiday of Christmas by calling it "Xmas," and promote perversion in schools," said Ryhor Azaronak on STV.
Azaronak often mentions LGBT in his broadcasts. For some reason, it is particularly appealing to him.
"It is August of this year. Beautiful women are dressed in white. They are singing, clapping, they mean no harm. Or so it may seem to the unsophisticated viewer. But that's how it was at first. And then gradually the LGBT activists showed up. They also danced and joked and kissed. And then the Femen activists went to their rallies without clothes, but with a white-red-white flag," the propagandist fantasizes.
He also talks about the "global forces" and the "enemies of statehood" that are trying to "divide people" and "multiply the family". What does this have to do with LGBT? It is simple:
"That's why the rainbow banner of Sodom rises over the world. Biden calls LGBT the highest form of democracy and then puts his hand on the Bible. Apparently he has forgotten the book of Leviticus".
Azaronak also links LGBT with the white-red-white flag. He says that it "came back with LGBT and foreign handlers," and besides them, it accompanied the "militants" and "loonies" that have already become a proven classic of Belarusian propaganda.
"Children at LGBT Pride Parades"
Other pro-governmental media scare the Belarusians less often with homosexuals. But homophobic overtones can be found in them as well. Sometimes they turn up in the most unexpected places. For example, when listing the "evidence" found in the possession of one of the detainees, Interior Ministry spokesperson Volha Chamadanava, followed by ONT, mentioned "literature that promotes LGBT values". What crimes can such a book prove? Especially since we are talking about a pamphlet on human rights...
Of course, you don't scare LGBT people without mentioning children.
"It's worth saying that for North America - the U.S., Canada - a year earlier, the issue of children participating in LGBT parades was more relevant. Yes, that also happened," the same ONT show claimed. In August, the journalists of that channel conducted a street survey of the attitude towards LGBT people. The caption to the story stated that there were "more Russian LGBT activists in Minsk than ever before".
And Belarus 1 TV channel, while talking about "the laws of the color revolution," talks about "ensuring cultural hegemony," which foreign forces are allegedly seeking.
"It means: make a person think like you, and they will not be able to resist you. In the States, the major media outlets have managed the transformation of consciousness. You remember, it all started with tolerance, respect for minorities, praising LGBT".
"Gays are everywhere"
Andrei Mukavozchyk, an "SB. Belarus Today," journalist couldn't avoid talking about gays either.
"Gays are everywhere. And all of Europe is coming to celebrate the annexation of a new, untouched territory. Rainbow, latex, nude and sodomistic, if you'll pardon my French," the columnist is scaring people.
It rhymes with the anti-Semitic song written in the Soviet Union about how "there are only Jews around," doesn't it?
The pro-Russian propaganda also uses homophobic references. And, what's more, it is done by Ministry of Education officials. Here is a quote from Andrei Lazutkin (an employee of the Ministry of Education press service) from the ImhoClub website:
"This unsophisticated thought could be deployed further, for example, Belarusians came out to protest with the LGBT flag as well, deepening their solidarity as much as possible. Let's make it a state flag, too".
10% of the voters
"It is obvious that the propagandists, representing the interests of the power usurpers in Belarus, aims to compromise the protest movement by confirming the recurring idea about the hostility to "our" values, destructiveness, marginality and "artificial hypocrisy under the control of an external enemy," to upset the expectations of doubters and demoralize supporters of change," LGBT activist Andrei Zavalei told Euroradio about the frequent appearance of homophobic statements in the propaganda messages.
Zavalei sees what is happening as an opportunity for "democratic propaganda" to make clear its commitment to the value of human rights. But there is a problem.
"Unfortunately, we can conclude that the people who make decisions in the pro-democracy movement are completely unaware of the significance of this watershed or deliberately ignore it, playing in the hands of the "majority" agenda, imitating state propaganda and mimicking an agenda in which the topic of LGBTQ people's rights is presented as a bogeyman, a scarecrow or a caricature.
We are real LGBTQ people in Belarus. Our problems, our lives are subject to manipulation by the propaganda of the authorities, because society's attitude to the problem of discrimination, including homophobia and transphobia, is a kind of "value watershed" that determines the value orientations. And all the dogs are pitted against us.
As an example, Zavalei cites the meme about "cock suckers" or the rumors circulating in Telegram about the male lovers of a high-ranking official. It turns out that even among supporters of change there are people who believe that homosexual relations undermine the protest.
"A la guerre comme a la guerre?" asks Andrei Zavalei indignantly. "I do not think so, because LGBTQ people and their loved ones in Belarus account for at least ten percent of voters. Do you want those votes to count? You can start treating the ten percent of voters with due respect right now. Maybe they'll come around and support your program".