The two cases are very different. I risk treading on shaky ground here because I speak neither Russian nor any Indian language, and unfortunately I don't have regular, solid correspondents in either country.
But first let's take Russia:
The headline gives away the punchline, as happens often with gay-themed stories in the Guardian. "Putin defends anti-gay" laws, the headline goes. This is the same crappy, dishonest labeling that has led to me being classified everywhere on the Internet as "anti-gay" simply due to my belief that children have a right to (I repeat):
--be born free, not bought or sold
--a mom and a dad
--know their origins.
I am sure that Russia struggles with prejudice of many kinds, including some people's knee-jerk hostility to homosexuality. But as I have said, and I will repeat as often as I can, most people, everywhere, do not go around conspiring against homosexuals. The idea that people are "anti-gay" as if they spend their whole day thinking of ways to hate homosexuals, is a ruse, a fairy-tale created from the fragments of narcissistic, wounded homosexual psyches, who form a small subset of the larger gay community. Putin's laws have been passed in direct response -- as Putin says in the article, and as the Guardian at least acknowledges -- to the sweeping and globalist overreach of the worldwide (but US-based) ligbitist lobby.
When people set the terms of discussion such that you are "anti-gay" if you object to unethical adoption schemes, artificial reproductive technology, or forcing children to live without a mom or dad, then you have to anticipate that many more people are going to be "anti-gay" than would be otherwise.
I can't speak for Russians, but I can give my perspective on this. (I have been interviewed four times for Russian television, by the way.) I have lived just about my whole life in the gay community and love gay people. I want them to be happy. I want them to prosper.
But I believe that children have rights and the ligbitist lobby, which has appointed itself as representatives for everybody gay, is determined to strip away those rights in the name of empowering homosexuals. I used to spend a lot of energy correcting people who say I'm "anti-gay." Now I don't care anymore. You've worn me down, ligbitists. Yes, if "anti-gay" means I think gay people should observe ethical limits and not destroy other people's lives, the same way I scrutinize everybody, then call me "anti-gay" and let's move on to the real debate.
Perhaps Putin's Russia would not need to be such hardliners, if the ligbitist lobby had proffered the world an example somewhere, anywhere in the world, of a gay movement taking hold, obtaining rights for adult homosexuals, and then stopping. It doesn't happen, anywhere. The movement is obsessed with changing how adolescents think, redefining family, buying and selling children, recruiting youth into their sex pools, and trampling on taboos. You can't give them an inch, or they will take the whole continent. So while I don't want gay people to suffer or be antagonized unnecessarily, I honestly don't know what lefties in the Guardian expect Russia to do. Notwithstanding the country's other human rights issues, do we expect them to open their doors to Dan Savage and Rachel Maddow, turn their orphanages into auctions for aspiring gay parents, and let Dustin Lance Black fly to Moscow and start screwing teenage Russian boys?
Try to see things from Moscow's point of view. You'll see that he's not the barbarian. We are.
Now, India reflects a different case. See here on the high court of that country's decision to restore the law against sodomy:
On the surface, I have to say, I'm not a fan of the anti-sodomy laws. I think that for 100 years they made life a hellish nightmare for homosexuals and gave the gay community its victim complex and bitterness, which we are now reaping in the form of the ligbitist lobby's blind ambitions.
But this was a court decision about a law that was passed. Here is a section of the article:
India's Law Minister Kapil Sibal said the government could raise the matter in parliament. The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was seen to broadly support the 2009 ruling, and some ministers said they opposed Wednesday's rollback. But it seems unlikely the government will risk taking a stand on the issue in the short term. General elections are due by next May and the socially conservative Hindu nationalist opposition is already gathering momentum. India's gay culture has opened up in recent years, although the country remains overwhelmingly conservative and sex outside marriage, even among heterosexual couples, is largely frowned upon. India's first gay pride march took place in the eastern city of Kolkata in 1999 and only around a dozen people attended.
Like writers in the Guardian, writers for Reuters seem not to understand that the present incarnation of the ligbitist lobby isn't entirely benign, especially in countries lacking in economic prosperity, where traditional family networks play the role of social "cement" holding everyone together.
Had India's courts decided to overturn the ban on homosexual activity through judicial fiat, the ligbitist lobby in that country would be given a green light to start on the same decrepit downhill road they've taken America down. First they get the right to have sex, then they have the right to look for sex, even where young people are. Then they change the school curriculum. Then they take over the whole media, get marriage equality, throw out adoption guidelines, and you end up with rampant child commodification, fifty-year-olds picking up sixteen-year-olds on Craigslist, and fisting demonstrations in eighth grade.
India is the capital of surrogacy, and has to clean up that practice as done by heterosexuals. The problem is that India can't root out surrogacy while it's increasing accommodations for the population that's the biggest growth market for surrogacy, homosexuals.
So this is all very complicated. India differs from Russia because India is actually upholding a law that was sent to them by Britain during colonial times. The West can't have it both ways with India, telling them to ban gay sex when it suits the West, and then subsidize it and throw open their orphanages to gay people when the West prefers that. I'll stay out of India's debate until I have more substantial commentary from people on the ground there.