Dear Vladimir Putin,

I keep hoping that someone important is going to change Article 2 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This article states that ”Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration”. It doesn’t matter what race, color, sex, language and so on you are a part of, these are your rights. I would love to have the word “sexuality” included in that list or at least mentioned somewhere in this Declaration.

PutinNYTI know that you are a very important person, but I guess you’re not the person to ask, since you’ve been making some radical changes yourself. Are you really serious with this new legislation on homosexuality? Protecting minors from “homosexual propaganda”. I know that it went through with 364 votes against 0, but agreeing to something like this: sending someone to prison – that is taking away their freedom – for 14 days for talking out loud about homosexuality. So does that mean that if I ever make it to Russia, I’ll have to make sure not to tell a woman that she looks beautiful in that dress or whatever, even if she does, and even if I have no attention of sleeping with her?

Vladimir, you do know that the ancient Greeks are notorious for having had (a whole lot of) same-sex-sex, right? Men had sex with (young) men, and women had sex with women (we just never hear about it). It didn’t matter if the participants were male or female, the roles they played in the act were much more important. We’re talking 2500 years ago-ish… when did it all go wrong? Maybe the head of your Russian Orthodox Church can answer part of that. I remember reading that he finds all the gay marriages in the Western world “a dangerous sign of the coming Apocalypse”. And here I thought, he was a happy man with all the pro-church legislation you’re getting through. Moving on…

I always say this when I have to convince people about homosexuality being a natural thing: 1500 animal species have same-sex-sex… in Russia, too. It might sound silly, but hey, we are animals, and if that doesn’t make it natural then I really don’t know what to tell you.

What I do hope somebody makes sure to tell you, is what this law is doing to an already marginalized part of your people (your people!). You voted this anti-homo-propaganda legislation through, but in the process it seems you legalized hate-crimes of the sort that I can hardly comprehend. You can even find them on Vkontakte, Russian facebook, which means that you actually have the names and faces of at least some of these criminals. I don’t even know if you call them criminals anymore because the police isn’t doing anything about it.

I’ve read some awful, awful stories from your country, Vladimir. Completely inhuman hate-crime abuse of completely defenseless people. I don’t understand why it has to be like this. I know that a word is missing in Article 2 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but Article 1 states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” You need to understand and respect that.

Yours sincerely,

Karen Sundtoft, Copenhagen, Denmark