Posts Tagged ‘st. petersburg’

Happy Birthday Madonna!

August 16th, 2014 Comments off

Image via Facebook

This weekend marked the Material Girl’s 56th birthday, and without a doubt she will be celebrating with a bang! Madonna still knows how to make headlines—from the release of her album MDNA to her controversial world tour that made headlines, especially her concert in St. Petersburg. After a few decades, Madonna continues to be one the world’s biggest entertainers and one of the most well-known LGBT icons—and she has the track record to prove it. She opened the doors for many present-day pop sensations such as Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and more.

Some of our favorite videos after the jump …

Read more…

Broward County, Florida Judge Says Gay Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional

August 4th, 2014 Comments off

Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Broward Circuit Judge Dale Cohen struck down Florida’s marriage ban, affirming that the denial of marriage equality to same-sex couples in Florida is unconstitutional.  The judge’s ruling applies to recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages, as well as overturning Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage in Broward County only. This is the third Republican-appointed judge in Florida to issue a ruling in favor of marriage equality. “Every win in court brings us closer than we’ve ever been to the freedom to marry in Florida,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida.  “We look forward to the day when all loving, committed couples and their families enjoy the same protections, opportunities and responsibilities of marriage under the law.  Every passing day inflicts real hardships on families who are denied the legal protection and dignity that marriage equality provides.”

St. Petersburg, Russia Holds Unpermitted Pride and Goes Off Without Violence

July 29th, 2014 Comments off
Image via QueerRussia

Image via QueerRussia

Despite the city denying the city of St. Petersburg, Russia from hosting a pride rally, nearly 150 people gathered anyway in a public park, and the more-political-than-celebratory pride went off without a hitch. Russian authorities jokingly told the organizers, Ravnopraviye (Equality), to hold the pride in a landfill. Despite not being allowed to use public spaces or march because of the federal anti-gay propaganda law, organizers held the rally. Websites reported that the day’s affairs went off without any major incident, and the area was even secured by local police. Only one person was detained throughout the day. According to QueerRussia: “One of the protesters, Eugene Pirozhkov, was holding a placard ‘Sodomy is sweeter than honey’ and was detained by police after refusing to roll the poster and so he was taken to the police bus. The poster graphics included some Christian symbols.”


Watch: The Art, Food, and Magic of St. Petersburg, Florida

April 16th, 2014 Comments off
St. Petersburg Thriving Street-Art Scene. Screen Cap via Passport.

St. Petersburg Thriving Street-Art Scene. Screen Cap via Passport.

Discovery is the best part of travel, and when every corner yields a new hidden oasis, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. Join Bob Devin Jones as he shows us why St. Petersburg, Florida is a haven for artists, foodies, and explorers alike.

Check it out over at  Passport TV. 

HRC Donates Additional $40,000 to Gay Russian Organizations

March 27th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

The Human Rights Campaign is donating an additional $40,000 to Russia Freedom Fund after an initial donation of $100,000 the organization made in December. The donation is the sum of all donations made to the  “Love Conquers Hate” campaign that worked to raise awareness about the Russian government’s discriminatory anti-gay propaganda law. “The Russian government’s hateful campaign against its own people has been exposed and the world is watching,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC’s Global Engagement Program. “The Sochi Olympic Games shined the spotlight on Russia’s horrific and dangerous anti-LGBT law, but with the Olympics over, we can’t leave LGBT Russians behind.”


HRC to Donate $100,000 to Support Gay Community in Russia

December 19th, 2013 Comments off
Image via HRC

Image via HRC

With the Olympics a little over a month away, the Human Rights Campaign has pledged a sizeable donation hoping to support and inspire the LGBT community in Russia during the holiday season and into the New Year. The $100,000 announcement is featured in a video holiday card to the Russian LGBT community, compiling support and solidarity for their cause across social media. The video is set to singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson’s song “Blood Brothers.” The impressive donation is the result of hundreds of individual donations from the “Love Conquers Hate” campaign and will go to Freedom Fund. The campaign has been bolstered by participation from a diverse group of prominent celebrities, athletes and politicians with Matt Damon, Robin Thicke and Sarah Silverman joining the campaign this week.

“With less than two months until the Sochi Olympic Games, it’s time to harness the tidal wave of support for Russia’s LGBT community emerging around the world,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Now more than ever, we must expose the Russian government’s hateful campaign against its own people and support LGBT Russians enduring oppression and violence every day.”


Russia’s High Court Says Gay Propaganda Law is Constitutional

December 4th, 2013 Comments off
Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

Russia’s highest court ruled that the law banning gay propaganda throughout the country does not violate Russia’s constitution. The law was challenged by Nikolai Alexeyev, a gay-rights activist, who demanded that the St. Petersburg City Council be held accountable for acting unconstitutionally when they passed their anti-gay propaganda law. According to IndRus:  “Alexeyev had asked the court to rule that the law was based on prejudice and permitted discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. But the judges concluded that the Constitution obliged the State to protect motherhood, childhood and family.” Legislators therefore acted within their means to  “take measures to protect children from information, propaganda and campaigns that can harm their health and moral and spiritual development”.

Popular Moscow Gay Club Patrons Attacked with Poisonous Gas

November 25th, 2013 Comments off
Image via LifeNews

Image via LifeNews

Several people sought medical attention this weekend after vigilantes allegedly used poisonous gas against a crowd at a popular gay club in Moscow, Russia. On Saturday night, attackers unleashed poisonous gas against the 500 revelers who were quickly escorted outside of the popular club Central Station while smoke removal machines cleared the air. The club’s general director, Andrey Leschinsky, told LifeNews that the attackers “are trying to express their extremist views against the LGBT community, which likes to visit our club.” So far there are no suspects in the crime. “Today is the fourth provocation against the club arranged by unknown persons. We believe that they are connected with the building owner,” says  Leschinsky. Last week, a gunman opened fire, thankfully no one was killed. [GSN]

Gay Atlantis Cruises Nixes Russia from its Summer Itinerary

November 21st, 2013 Comments off
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Atlantis Cruises’ scenic 7-day Baltic European cruise, a favorite among veteran gay cruisers, will return next summer, setting sail from Copenhagen on July 20. The luxurious ship will stop in several of northern Europe’s most captivating cities along the way, but there’s one country the it won’t be returning to—Russia.

The hostile homophobia and anti-gay legislation of the current Putin regime has driven the cruise line to avoid the culturally rich city of St. Petersburg, a formerly popular port-of-call on the  Baltic cruise’s itinerary.  CEO Richard Campbell announced the boycott at a VIP alumni reception, Jim Windsor reports. In his announcement, Campell explained that while the residents of St. Petersburg had always been welcoming in the past, the national anti-gay attitude in Russia is intolerable. Campell hopes that the economic consequences of the boycott will in a small way help pressure the regime to change its ways.

Petition Launches Asking Selena Gomez to Speak Up for Gay Community at Russian Concerts

September 19th, 2013 Comments off
Image via Facebook.

Image via Facebook.

While Cher refuses to perform in Russia and Elton John feels morally obligated to perform in Russia, one teen sensation has remained mum about her two upcoming performances. Selena Gomez, who is set to highlight two concerts in both Moscow and St. Petersburg next week, hasn’t spoken about her two upcoming concerts or if she plans to pull a Madonna and speak up for the gay and lesbian community there. The petition was launched by John Gomez, a fan, LGBT-rights activist, and blogger, who writes: “Singer Selena Gomez is a talented, award-winning pop superstar with a Top 10 album and multiple hit singles under her belt, as well as a worldwide following of devoted fans. By speaking out, Selena can let LGBT folks in Russia know that we stand with them.”

If you think the “Come and Get It” singer should take action against Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws, click here to sign.

UPDATE: The Russian government refused to give Gomez a visa. According to the Moscow Times

U.S. pop star Selena Gomez has been forced to cancel two concerts in Russia after indirectly falling victim to Russia’s anti-gay law, concert organizers said Thursday.

Gomez failed to secure a Russian visa after the government tightened the visa regime for foreign musicians in response to Madonna’s and Lady Gaga’s decisions to openly support gays during their shows in Russia last year, the organizers told RIA Novosti.