One of the most common cries coming from Russian lawmakers (amongst others) at the moment regarding the anti-GBLTI laws enacted is the simple, seemingly innocuous statement:
You must respect our laws.
It’s what they’re saying to visitors, potential visitors, and critics alike.
They’re wrong. Utterly wrong.
Respect is not given: respect is earned.
Visitors heading to Russia may be forced or beholden to obey their laws, but they are not beholden to respect them.
No free-thinking, humane person with a shred of dignity could respect those laws.
We will not respect those laws. Not now, not ever.