Students should not make light of the LGBT laws in Russia as well as the rest of the world

State Hornet Staff

The Millennial generation is the most uninformed generation on world news, but have the most technology and resources in reach to make a change and a change in Russia is needed.

Millennials, or Generation Y, were born between the years 1980 and 2000. According to Sacramento State enrollment trends, ages 18 to 26 have the highest population on campus.

Foreshadowing of a gay rights uprising is transpiring in Russia. Many people are uninformed about the laws passed in opposition to the Russian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.

Laws in place include a ban on adoption of Russian born children to LGBT couples.

LGBT “propaganda” or literature is considered pornography and protestors can be arrested and detained for 14 days – including visitors to the country during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. 

Any attempt to justify these laws is futile because any ban on civil rights should not be tolerated.

In response to the laws regarding the Winter Olympics, XXL All Sports United, a Norwegian sporting apparel company,  came out with a commercial called “Airport Love.” 

The message promotes sports for everyone – no matter what “team” you play for – blatantly stating the LGBT community can play sports as well.  

Communication studies professor Rebecca LaVally, who teaches a class on persuasion and attitude, agrees these commercials are aimed at persuading viewers to think a certain way.

“Ads that use humor can disarm us. Humor makes people – including the actors in ads – seem sociable and likable,” said LaVally.“When we like people, we are more open to being persuaded by them. We let our guard down and are less likely to put up defenses against the message. So in this case, the purpose of the humorous ad is to make us feel more accepting.”

Another ad by the company All Out, opens up its commercial stating, “The Russian government made it a crime for gay people to show their love in public.”

The treatment of the LGBT community in Russia is awful. 

The harassment gay men and women are experiencing, because of homophobia, is being captured on film, which then allows people across the world to see the brutality happening.

Social media raises awareness. Millennials are the most active age group on social media and are the first ones to receive the message so they need to take action. 

All Out’s website shared a startling statistic regarding the LGBT community stating, “in 76 countries it is a crime to be gay, in 10 it can cost you your life.” Watching a more serious advertisement creates a vastly different reaction.

“The more serious ad sponsored by All Out is aimed at a young audience, given that millennials are much more open to accepting others than were previous generations,”LaVally said.

There is a need to stop the discrimination of the Russian LGBT community, and many students on campus concur. 

“The commercial is making a strong stance,” said communication studies major Gary Berns. “It is geared towards Generation Y – they are being called out (to act).”

There is a lack of strong opinion on campus regarding the discrimination of the LGBT community in Russia. Yes, it is far away, but many  issues of discrimination are still facing the LGBT community on American soil.

The PRIDE Center declined to comment on the issue.

Many things happen around the world that do not directly affect everyone, but when the civil rights of human beings are being oppressed, action needs to happen. 

Knowledge about city, state and country issues are important and need consideration from every student. 

Civil liberties are at stake and everyone deserves protection.