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Posts Tagged ‘gay Russia’

Gay-Friendly Apple Emojis May Get Deleted in Russia

July 31st, 2015 Comments off
Screen Cap via iPhone

Screen Cap via iPhone

While most of the world has embraced Apple’s introduction of those cute LGBT-friendly emojis, the higher ups in Russia see them as breaking their anti-gay propaganda law and want the tech giant to delete them.

According to Vocativ: “The federal group responsible for patrolling Russian media wrote a letter to “Young Guard of United Russia,” the youth wing of the “United Russia” political party, requesting the group’s members investigate emojis posted to social media platforms. Gay emojis might violate the countrywide ban on ‘gay propaganda,’ according to Roskomnadzor.”

The gay and lesbian emojis were released this April along with more inclusive emojis that represent persons of all ethnicities.



European Court of Human Rights Rules All European Countries Should Recognize Same-Sex Partnerships

July 21st, 2015 Comments off

Image via Passport Magazine

Image via Passport Magazine

This just in from HRC:

The European Court on Human Rights has ruled that all signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights, including countries like Turkey and Russia, where discrimination and violence against LGBT people has recently made headlines, should recognize same-sex partnerships. This ruling, which could impact 47 countries, and 800 million people, is a major step in granting greater rights and equality to LGBT people across Europe, and around the world.

The case, Oliary and Others v. Italy, was brought by plaintiffs urging Italy to recognize their legal partnerships that had been granted outside of Italy. While arguing that same-sex partnership recognition is a right, this ruling allows signatory countries to chose which form of recognition they wish confer. HRC calls on all country signatories to embrace full marriage equality.

Find out more after the jump…
Read more…

Russian Officials Tear Down Steve Jobs Statue After Current CEO Tim Cook Comes Out

November 3rd, 2014 Comments off
Steve Jobs's portrait hang in commemoration of his death on the Federation Tower of the Moscow International Business Center on October 22, 2011 in Moscow. Image YuryZap

Steve Jobs’s portrait hung in commemoration of his death on the Federation Tower of the Moscow International Business Center on October 22, 2011 in Moscow. Image YuryZap

A memorial statue in St. Petersburg, Russia to the late Apple founder, Steve Jobs, has been torn down after Jobs’s successor, Tim Cook, revealed that he was gay. The memorial that was in the shape of an iPhone was displayed in January 2013 outside a university by a group of Russian companies called ZEFS. According to ZEFS, the six-foot monument was torn down by officials who cited gay propaganda laws. “In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law,” ZEFS said, noting that the memorial had been “in an area of direct access for young students and scholarsAfter Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values.” [TorontoSun]


Russia Bans Conchita Wurst Parade

May 17th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

Conchita Wurst is a global sensation. The bearded drag queen has built quite a following, inspiring people all over the world since winning the 2014 EuroVision Contest last week. Russian fans, to show support for their pop idol, had planned to hold a parade on May 27: the hilariously titled Conchita Wurst March of Bearded Women and Men.

Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) Russian officials’ sense of humor (not to mention tolerance) has proved lacking. Citing the need to “respect morality” and “educate the younger generation,” Russian officials denied the fans’ request for a permit to hold the parade. Bafflingly, they also claimed that the parade posed a threat of “violence.”

Much as Russia would like to rain on Europe (and the world’s) parade, there is good news for Conchita Wurst fans. This diva and burgeoning star shows no signs of holding back — with the same level flamboyance and outspokenness, Wurst continues to make headlines and “Rise Like a Phoenix.”

[h/t The Guardian]

40,000 Signatures to be Delivered to Ikea After Gay Couple Censored in Russia

January 10th, 2014 Comments off
Image via

Image via

After Ikea inexplicably removed a lesbian couple from their Russia catalog, over 40,000 people signed a petition demanding that the furniture giant republish their in-store magazine. The magazine included a feature story about a British lesbian couple, but was only removed from their Russian stores, a despicable move that more than 40,000 people felt went against the socially liberal Swedish brand. The photo and feature in Ikea’s magazine featured a lesbian couple, Clara and Kirsty, and discussed how the couple and their baby became closer while redecorating their small living space. The move also sparked at-store protests in addition to the petition. “We’re bringing the voices of 40,000 signers, and countless people around the globe who want corporate giants like IKEA to stand up against Russia’s brutal assault on LGBT people,” said Larry Poltavtsev, President of the Spectrum Human Rights. “For IKEA to erase LGBT people from their Russian publications only caters to the extreme brand of hatred and discrimination being promoted by Russian lawmakers.”

You can still sign the petition by visiting

German President Joachim Gauck Boycotts Sochi Olympics

December 8th, 2013 Comments off
Image by Dereje

Image by Dereje

Citing Russia’s anti-gay laws and human rights abuses, German President Joachim Gauck will boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Gauck is the first world leader to condemn the persecution of gay people in Russia by calling for a boycott of the Olympics. According to The Guardian:

The German president has become the first major political figure to boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics in February. According to German weekly Der Spiegel, Joachim Gauck last week informed the Kremlin of his decision, which is understood to be a response to the Russian government’s violations of human rights and harassment of the opposition.

The boycott is the first of the Games by a major political figure. So far, it has mainly been artists and activists such as Stephen Fry, Harvey Fierstein and Lady Gaga who have called for a boycott of the Sochi Games in reaction to a new Russian law that criminalises gay “propaganda”.

Find out more at The Guardian.

New York Comptroller Pressures Sochi Sponsors to Back Out of Olympics in Russia

December 5th, 2013 Comments off
Image via Facebook.

Image via Facebook.


New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and other New York City officials sent a strongly worded letter to the sponsors of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia writing that if they continue their sponsorships they will put their companies in jeopardy by facing “reputational risk.” So why should companies listen to DiNapoli, the city comptroller serves as the sole trustee to a $161 billion public pension fund. In the past he has used his power to persuade companies to de-invest in situations that threaten human rights. According to Times Union: “DiNapoli has in the past used the state Common Retirement Fund’s leverage  to press for changes in corporate policy—ranging from divestment from companies that do business with dictatorships to pressing Chevron to do right by plaintiffs in a massive environmental lawsuit in Ecuador. In each case, the Comptroller has argued that doing so is about protecting shareholder value, not promoting a progressive agenda.”

In the letter addressed to AtoS, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, General Electric, Omega (Swatch), McDonalds, Panasonic, Proctor & Gamble, Samsung, and Visa, DiNapoli, NYC Comptroller John Liu, and a coalition of investors “with at total of $327 billion of assets under management” made three major points in their letter:

  • Ensure their nondiscrimination policies are strong, inclusive and enforced globally, especially in regard to employees stationed or on location in Russia;
  • Call on the leaders of the Russian Federation to rescind the laws that deprive members of Russia’s LGBT community of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and declare their commitment to equality irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity; and
  • Call on the International Olympic Committee to obtain firm and express commitments from the Russian government that ensure the safety and human rights of all athletes and attendees of the Winter Games and visitors to the Games’ venues.


American Apparel Supports Gay Rights in Russia!

December 3rd, 2013 Comments off
Belle Brockhoff. Image via

Belle Brockhoff. Image via

American Apparel, famous for their LGBT political activism, has launched a new line of political-activism merchandise targeting Russia’s anti-gay laws. The protest merchandise, called Principle 6, will be marketed by Olympic athletes who will be competing at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Of them, Belle Brockhoff, an openly lesbian Australian snowboarder, will be one of the first to display the red T-shirt. Principle 6 is in refrence to the principle in the International Olympic Committee’s charter that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.” According to the NYT: “The line of Principle 6 branded merchandise will bear a rewritten version of the principle’s declaration: ‘Sport does not discriminate on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise.’ (The paraphrase also serves to avoid another sticky issue: The Olympic committee is zealous in its policing of the use of the words ‘Olympic’ or ‘Olympics’ by anyone other than its members and official sponsors.)” The apparel went on sale yesterday online and will be available in stores beginning Jan. 1.

Gay Film Festival In Russia Faces Bomb Threats

November 30th, 2013 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

In spite of bomb threats and intimidation, the Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival is being presented in Russia this week. Neo Nazi groups and right wing nationalists tried to prevent the film festival from taking place by calling in bomb threats, but the festival continues in spite of these groups and their assaults on gay people and gay rights in Russia. According to Cleve Jones: “Director Gus Van Sant, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and producer Bruce Cohen will be showing “MILK” with Russian subtitles in St. Petersburg and Moscow.”

It is difficult to stand up for your rights when you face these sort of threats and intimidation, but the gay people of Russia continue to demand the equal rights they deserve in spite of the threats. Thank you Gus Van Sant, Dustin Lance Black, and Bruce Cohen for supporting the gay people of Russia.

Read more about what is happening at Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival and over at The Moscow Times.

Rainbow Uniforms for German Olympians: Political Statement or Fashion Choice?

November 29th, 2013 Comments off
German Olympics. Image via GLReview.

German Olympic Uniforms. Image via GLReview.

A rainbow seems to have rained down on the uniforms to be worn by German athletes in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Fashion critics say the design is rather hideous, but that’s a relatively minor point in the international debate that has since erupted, trying to figure out whether the rainbow-inspired threads are a subversive statement on Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” policy in the international games.

The German Olympic Sports Confederation says the uniforms are simply “a bold fashion choice” as reported by BuzzFeed. The official statement explains, “The colors of the Sochi-outfits reflect the exotic landscape of Sochi: turquoise blue of the Black Sea, hot yellow of the sun and sand, lush green of the palms topped by the cool white of the Caucasus Mountains.” The statement even shamelessly implies that it’s a way to draw more attention to German athletes in a sea of competitors, with bright neon colors that will stand out against darks and neutrals. Nevertheless, they’ve included the clause “Everybody may read into it want he wants” into the statement.

Others maintain that it must—simply must—be a subtle jab at the highly criticized anti-gay policy instated by Russia which has been decried by LGBT activists ever since the new anti-propaganda law passed over the summer.