Amid calls by Russian lawmakers to ban gays from government jobs, force them to undergo medical treatment and even exile, the government last month unanimously passed a broad, subjective law stopping "homosexual propaganda."

Acknowledge that you're gay or hold hands with someone of the same sex? You'll be arrested and slapped with a $16,000 fine. When a 22-year-old man was found murdered after having been beaten with a concrete block and set on fire, LGBT people protested. Eastern Orthodox Christians hurled eggs and rocks at these protestors. A priest said, "Until this scum gets off of Russian land, I fully share the views of those who are trying to purge it."

Words matter — they lead to action. Please think deeply about the implications of all dangerous rhetoric.

Andrew Stelter

West Jordan