Things are not looking good for online freedom in Russia. First the country’s parliament approved a controversial web censorship bill and now religious hardliners want to ban Facebook.
According to Russia Today, activists from the Orthodox Church are angry at the social network’s decision to launch same-sex marriage icons, calling them “gay propaganda”.
The activists apparently believe that the icons could make young people tempted to explore homosexuality. In fact, the church in the city of Saratov, southern Russia, asked issued an ultimatum requesting that the social network “stop flirting with Sodomites”.
When threatening the world’s largest social network didn’t work, the activists organised a petition looking to return a piece of anti-gay, Soviet Era legislation to the books. They joined up with people in other Russian regions to get Facebook banned in the country:
“We demand only one thing: Facebook should be blocked in the entire country because it openly popularizes homosexuality among minors,” said the leader of the Orthodox public organization, Vladimir Roslyakovsky.
Apparently the hardliners also think the same-sex icons are part of a wider US propaganda campaign against Russia:
“The US goal is that Russians stop having children. [They want] the great nation to turn into likeness of Sodom and Gomorrah,” Roslyakovsky said. “But I am confident that Russian laws and reasonable citizens will be able to protect their children from a fierce attack of sodomites”.