Diva damns Russian anti-gay laws
Russian opera star Maria Maksakova has criticised her country's controversial anti-gay laws saying they have caused a “colossal loss” to the world image of the nation.
Maksakova is a soloist with St. Petersburg’s prestigious Mariinsky Theatre, TV host and, since 2011, a Member of Parliament as State Duma committee member for Culture and representing the liberal wing of the pro-president Putin United Russia Party.
Last month she became one of the few people in the Russian government to speak out in public against the controversial law prohibiting “propaganda” of nontraditional sexual relations to children.
“We are seeing extremely negative consequences as the result of this law with the growth of hate crimes,” Maksakova said at a United Russia party meeting.
“Our country has suffered a colossal loss to its image around the world.”
“I am very sad to see that the Olympic Games in Sochi for which we have so long and anxiously prepared will come to pass with less brilliance and passion because of this unfortunate initiative that was so hastily, and I believe without thoughtful discussion, adopted by parliament,” she also said.
Maksakova said she believes any kind of harmful information of a sexual nature is unacceptable for children but was unhappy with the law's wording, particularly that “strange word non-traditional” sexual orientation.
“If we look back at our historic origins, for instance Byzantium, which got the major part of its culture from Ancient Greece, there might be doubts whether this term can be used in the law at all,” Maksakova said.