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US: Ikea store targeted with gay kiss-in campaign over lesbian censorship in Russia

Aaron Day November 26, 2013
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A group of gay activists at a New York Ikea recently took part in a “guerrilla photo shoot” campaign against the company’s recent decision to censor a lesbian couple’s interview from its Russian edition magazines.

Earlier this month, an Ikea spokeswoman confirmed to Aftonbladet newspaper that the company replaced the article with another because it clashes with a law passed in June which forbids the “promotion” of homosexuality to minors.

The photo shoot was organised in Brooklyn, New York by Joseph Huff-Hannon, co-editor of the upcoming book ‘Gay Propaganda: Russian Love Stories,’ Alexander Kargaltsev, a gay Russian artist and photographer, and Rusa LGBT co-founder Nina Long.

Participants posed for photographs while kissing, holding hands, hugging one another, and staging various toys around the store to symbolise same-sex unions.

Mr Huff-Hanon told the Huffington Post on Monday: “Ikea calls themselves the ‘life improvement’ store, but we decided they have some major room for improvement after they deleted a lesbian couple from the Russian version of their catalog.

“Ikea should stop insulting their LGBT customers in Russia and around the world, show some backbone, and publish the story in Russian.”

The writer said the cause was particularly important to him as his boyfriend, Artyom Matusov, was born in Moscow

Gennadiy Kaliberda, who took part in the campaign, also said the move was a “real step back” for the company.

“Ikea knows better and should do better,” he added.

The interview between Clara and Kirsty, from Dorset, appeared in the latest edition of Ikea Live magazine, which is distributed to Ikea Family customers, the store’s loyalty programme.

The Russian edition of the magazine, however, did not contain the article. The Russian law was the reason, as the company wanted to “remain neutral” in the debate around LGBT issues in the country.


Related topics: Americas, anti-gay laws, David Cameron, Europe, G20, Moscow, putin, Russia, Russia, sochi olympics, Sochi Winter Olympics, Sochi Winter Olympics 2014, St Petersburg, Stephen Fry, US, Vladimir Putin, Winter Olympics, Winter Olympics 2014

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