With anti-gay violence on the rise in Russia, most people would look at the situation and blame it on institutionalized homophobia and a culture that increasingly supports violent measures against the LGBT community.
But Brian Camenker is not most people. Camenker, the founder of the anti-gay Mass Resistance group, recently told an interviewer that he thinks the increasing prevalence of anti-gay attacks in Russia are a result of gays just being too gay with each other in public.
According to Towleroad, Camenker told conservative radio show host Linda Harvey that "if you're going to do something that most of the population considers bad or immoral or disgusting in public, you're going to get a certain reaction. I think that they push that as far as they can and sometimes you just can't do it."
So the problem here isn't that it's becoming increasingly justifiable to use violence as a means of expressing disapproval or that Russia's anti-gay policies are only stoking the flames of homophobic sentiment in the country. It's that people just can't help but punch a gay dude in the face for kissing his boyfriend. I mean, people can choose not to be gay, but you can't choose not to assault someone because you disagree with his sexuality.
Yes, there are plenty of people in Russia who find homosexuality "bad" or "immoral" as Camenker says, but that doesn't mean their judgment is right or that it makes physical assault okay. There are plenty of things we find bad or immoral. Our immediate response isn't to beat it until it stops; no one just magically gets a carte blanche on violence because they don't particularly care for something.