Lesbian kissing in Crimean youth theatre show labelled ‘gay propaganda’

Lily Wakefield July 2, 2019
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Youth theatre performance with may be in violation of "gay propaganda" law

The youth theatre performance may violate Russia's "gay propaganda" law. (YouTube)

A youth theatre company has apologised for play which involved lesbian kissing in Russia-controlled Crimea, which may violate the country’s “gay propaganda” law.

The play, which shows same-sex couples kissing, was organised by a group called Territoria as part of a Gogol Centre theatre lab during the Tavrida Festival.

The annual creative festival, which showcases art, theatre and music, is an event organised by the Russian federal youth agency Rosmolodyozh.

Because of the “gay propaganda” law passed by Vladimir Putin in 2013, that prohibit the distribution of anything seen to be supporting “non-traditional sexual relationships,” the performance may have been a criminal offence.

Territoria apologised but said in a statement that it could not take responsibility for the performance as it was unaware that the “the fragment that caused a controversial response” would take place.

According to the BBC, Alexander Khinshteyn, a pro-Kremlin parliament member, tweeted: “Not only is an investigation by the prosecutor’s office necessary, access to all state theatres and all state platforms should be closed for them!”

Former Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin compared the group to Sodom and Gomorra. (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

Russian space chief compared the theatre group to Sodom and Gomorra

Tsargrad TV, a conservative Russian channel, reported that “under the guise of a youth performance, viewers were shown same-sex kisses and semi-naked breasts of female students… there is a suspicion that the law banning the promotion of homosexuality in Russia was violated.”

Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin also compared the theatre group to Sodom and Gomorra in a tweet.

According to a report by RadioFreeEurope/ RadioLiberty, an organisation which reports on countries which have censored media, state youth agency Rosmolodyozh was given the ability this year to censor any online content it deemed harmful to children, including “gay propaganda.”

On Saturday, Elton John wrote an open letter on social media to Putin accusing him of “hypocrisy” for saying that Russia had “no problems” with LGBT+ people.

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