FOR PETE'S SAKE

Flash Mobs At Russian Embassies To Protest Anti-LGBT Law In St. Petersburg

Well it’s a step up from glitter-bombing: The LGBT-rights group AllOut.org is scheduling a series of flash mobs tomorrow outside Russian embassies worldwide, in protest of an upcoming bill in the historic city of St. Petersburg that would make “promotion of homosexuality” a crime.

The “gay propaganda” statute, which has passed two readings but must be voted on by the St. Petersburg City Council on Wednesday and then signed by the governor, would impose fines of up to $16,700 for “reading, writing, speaking or reporting on anything related to gay, lesbian bi or trans people,” reads a statement from AllOut. “Pride parades, literature, theater, or NGOs that openly serve LGBT people will be criminalized, or pushed underground.”

At Tuesday’s events, demonstrators will be wearing gags to represent how the law would muzzle free speech. Their hope is to both draw international attention to the situation and discourage tourists from visiting the city. (A giant postcard bearing the slogan “Saint Petersburg: Don’t Go There” will be delivered to each embassy.)

“This bill, which would violate Russia’s own constitution as well as any number of international treaties, is an outrageous attack on the freedom of expression for all Russians, straight and gay,” says AllOut.org’s executive director, Andre Banks. “It must not be allowed to stand.”
The New York City flash mob will take place 12:30pm–1:30pm outside the Russian Mission to the United Nations, 136 East 67th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues. Others are scheduled for Berlin, Buenos Aires, Milan and Paris.
Photo via AllOut.org