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COLD COMFORT

UPDATED: Gay Activists Challenge Russia’s “Homosexual Propaganda” Ban In Chilly Arkhangelsk

In September, the frigid northern Russian oblast of Arkhangelsk declared it did not care for gay activists, not one bit, and outlawed “public promotion of homosexuality.”

Luckily for the international LGBT community, there are fearless, warm-blooded activists in even the coldest clime.

The gay-propaganda law went into Wednesday, the same day Russian activists Nikolai Alekseev, Alexey Kiselev and Kirill Nepomnyaschiy braved sub-zero temperatures in Arkhangelsk to protest the law with a 20-foot-long rainbow banner.

Pictures of the protest have popped up on Alexeyev’s Facebook and Gay Russia.

A longtime gay-rights advocate, Alekseev stepped down as leader of Gay Russia and Moscow Pride in October but, from the looks of this, he’s still fighting the good fight.

On his Facebook page, Alekseev writes:

Me, Alexey Kiselev and Kirill Nepomnyaschiy arrested at solitary pickets in Arkhangelsk. All of us are now at local police station, protocols are being written… officially accused of homosexual propaganda in Arkhangelsk. It is the first time Arkhangelsk gay propaganda laws passed last autumn are used in practice! All of us face a fine of up to 2000 rub each (50 euros). Court hearing is scheduled for 20 January. But we are still at police.

We hope the three have since been set free—and warmed themselves with some hot cocoa by a cozy fire. Bozhe moi!

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story referenced an unrelated protest in December reported by UKGayNews. Queerty regrets the error.

By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Jan 12, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 3 Comments
    • Danny
      Danny

      They have everyone’s sympathies for being stuck in Russia where government corruption is almost as bad as Texas; almost.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 2:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Esculapio Mitiríades Torquemada de la Cueva
      Esculapio Mitiríades Torquemada de la Cueva

      Really gutsy men.

      Jan 13, 2012 at 2:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MarkW
      MarkW

      Just a small point. You state: “[Nikolai Alekseev’s] account of the police’s response is in contradiction, though, with an article on UK Gay News, claiming no arrests were made.”

      That report in UK Gay News was about the picket mounted a month ago on December 11 when there were indeed no arrests.

      This article above refers to a second picket in Arkhangelsk that was staged two days ago on January 11 when Nikolai Alekseev and two other gay activists were arrested.

      So there is NO conflict in reporting – there were two different pickets!

      Jan 13, 2012 at 4:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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