Canada: Gay author receives threats from Russia over children’s story

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

A gay author from British Columbia known for his children’s literature, has said he has received threats from Russia, following the recent passage of anti-gay laws.

President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.

Robert Joseph Greene, author of the Blue Door, said he had been the recipient of hate mail from Russia, which accused him of being a paedophile, and suggested he was trying to get their children.

“In Russia, the word for pedophile and gay is the same word,” Greene said to CTV British Columbia. “They don’t differentiate the two.”

The book in question is a children’s short story about a Russian prince who defies his father in declaring his love for a boy.

Greene, who said his book had been translated into Russian, also said his books were being seen as the an example of homosexual “propaganda”.

As well as the law banning homosexual “propaganda”, Russia also recently added a law banning the adoption of Russian children by same-sex foreign couples.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird this week spoke out to condemn recently introduced anti-gay laws in Russia as “hateful”.

Last month, speaking exclusively to PinkNews, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg urged Russia to protect the rights of LGBT citizens following concerns about gay athletes and spectators attending the 2014 Winter Olympics.

He said: “Those days should be long behind us now and for those countries and those governments and regimes who don’t see it that way I think they have to move with the times.”