Russian MP wants state-paid 'ex-gay' therapy, gay blood ban

Tue. August 27, 2013 8:32 AM by

A senior Russian MP has proposed providing so-called "conversion" therapy to gays and a ban on gay men donating blood and organs

State Duma MP Mikhail Degtyarev, also a Moscow mayoral candidate, laid out his proposals during a press conference held in Moscow, Russia Today (RT) reported.

"We will suggest amendment to the law on donors that reintroduce homosexuality to the list of contraindications for blood donations in Health Ministry instruction," Degtyarev told reporters

Degtyarev insisted that the ban was not discriminatory because 65 percent of HIV-positive persons in Russia are gay, though he did not provide the source of this statistic.

The "ex-gay" therapy, Degtyarev said, would be free, voluntary and anonymous, and allow gays to "return to a normal life and become heterosexuals, as are 95 to 99 percent of our citizens."

He also suggested that gay people could hold Gay Pride marches without running afoul of a law banning "gay propaganda" to minors by holding the events at night.

"The law presumes that they should not hold Gay Pride events when children can see them. But it is very possible to hold them at night, with flashlights and without amplifiers," Degtyarev explained.

Nikolay Alekseyev, a prominent gay rights activist, criticized the proposed blood ban in remarks to Interfax: "We've lived without these restrictions for five years. It has not aggravated the situation with diseases. Modern methods of diagnosis allow early detection of infected blood and if they impose the ban this would only deprive patients of blood from some donors."

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