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Pussy Riot gives Russian government buildings and Supreme Court a rainbow makeover for Putin’s birthday

Patrick Kelleher October 7, 2020
Pussy Riot rainbow flags Russia Pride

Pussy Riot erected rainbow flags at government buildings in Moscow to mark Putin's birthday. (Facebook)

Pussy Riot has marked Vladimir Putin’s birthday by hanging rainbow flags at government buildings and at the Russian Supreme Court in a powerful act of defiance against the anti-LGBT+ president.

The Russian feminist collective erected the flags at Moscow landmarks, including the Federal Security Service (FSB), the district police and the Culture Ministry buildings, which they said were among “the most important symbols of Russian statehood”.

The group shared photos of members erecting the flags and said two journalists were arrested during the operation.

“It’s important to say thank you on your birthday,” Pussy Riot wrote in a Facebook post directed at Putin.

The group hit out at the Russian president’s failure to protect queer people. They drew attention to anti-LGBT+ propaganda in the country, as well as the gay purge in Chechnya, as examples of the government’s failures.

Pussy Riot said LGBT+ people need to be liberated from fear and prejudice, and from “ridiculous laws”.

“Today, we give this rainbow as a symbol of missing love and freedom – we give it to everyone,” the band added.

The collective went on to list seven demands to Putin to improve LGBT+ lives. They urged him to launch an investigation into the killings and kidnappings of queer people in Chechnya.

The group also drew attention to the harassment and discrimination faced by LGBT+ activists in Russia and called for a new law that would ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Furthermore, they called on Putin to introduce civil partnerships and told him to abolish the infamous “gay propaganda” law that has relegated the LGBT+ community to the shadows.

Finally, they asked the Russian president to make October 7 a national day to celebrate LGBT+ visibility.

The group made its demands just days after it was revealed that gay men in Russia who have children through surrogacy could be arrested for “baby trafficking”. 

Russia launches chilling clampdown on gay fathers.

According to The Independent, Russian state media reported that a source within the country’s Investigative Committee compared surrogacy to baby trafficking, and insisted that it was an offence for men with “non-traditional orientation” to use their sperm for IVF.

“We plan to arrest a number of suspects, single men, and Russian citizens, who have used surrogate mothers to give birth to children,” the source added, despite the fact that surrogacy is actually legal in Russia.

The plan has not been confirmed by the government.

Putin has consistently taken aim at the country’s LGBT+ community, stirring up hatred among his most loyal supporters, members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In 2013, he oversaw the introduction of the country’s infamous “gay propaganda” law, which bans so-called “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” among minors.

Human rights monitors say that the law has been widely exploited in Russia to clamp down on freedom of expression for LGBT+ people.

During the recent constitutional referendum which allowed Putin to extend his rule beyond the 2024 cut-off, Putin’s campaign relied heavily on taking away LGBT+ rights, from effectively erasing trans people from existence to a constitutional ban on marriage equality.

 

 

 

More: Pussy Riot, Vladimir Putin

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