As the World Cup kicked off June 14 between Russia and Saudi Arabia, two countries that make life difficult for LGBTQ folks, there was a secret pro-gay message hiding in plain sight at the packed stadium.
By following this link on mobile devices, fans saw a special image when they aimed their cameras at the crowd or the field.
Through augmented reality (think Pokemon Go), a gay couple appeared kissing with the Russian and Saudi Arabian flags on their cheeks.
Text reading “Love Will Win Tonight” accompanied them.
The project is intended as a protest against anti-LGBTQ forces in the two nations, both of which take tough, unjust positions against queer people.
Related: The viral rugby kiss that’s tackling homophobia
The so-called “gay propaganda” law prohibits teaching minors about LGBTQ equality in Russia, while homosexuality in Saudi Arabia is still an executable offense.
Fans are encouraged to take screenshots of their phones while the AR is visible and share them on social media using the hashtag #MarriageUnblocked.
A sports and fashion brand out of Sweden, Björn Borg, is promoting the stunt to launch a new digital campaign of the same name, Marriage Unblocked.
Here’s how they describe Marriage Unblocked:
We believe that being all you can be in sports first demands the right to be who you are in life. The first basic right is to love whoever you want. Marriage unblocked makes it possible for everyone to go down the aisle on blockchain, store your encrypted vows forever and get a certificate of your digital marriage. Anonymously or proudly public. No state, religion or family approval needed. Because just like sports, love is for everyone!
Sounds confusing! But you can’t argue with their message.
Just hope that no one ends up in jail for same sex kiss. It’s stupid to hold the games in countries that promote hatred.
I hear ya…
I don’t know if i should find this idea brillant or completely ridiculous…
Well, at least, you don’t take much risks, do you ? And so, you won’t change anything.
And to answer the interrogation above, sport never really cared about human rights, today more tham ever, and especially in those big events like the World Cup. It’s all about money. It’s sad but if you start to wonder about that, you will always find something to blame a country for.
We should try to use those popular events to change things and raising awareness (and if possible with some better ideas than the one in the article)
Doctor Benway, how is an idea “brilliant or completely ridiculous” when it promotes freedom. It is obviously brilliant. What do you mean by “sport never really cared about human rights, today more than ever.” It is in recent history that someone who was currently active in the NFL, yes, the NFL, was out as a player. Maybe he didn’t get treated quite as fairly, but he represented us in, again, the NFL of all sports.
And what really boggles the mind is when you say “you will always find something to blame a country for.” We’re talking specifically about same sex love in this article and you can be jailed and beat up with no recrimination in Russia and put to death in Saudi Arabia. That’s not always finding something to blame a country for.
Finally, I don’t know how much of a sports fan you are but I am a big NFL and Soccer and Hockey fan. Change and Awareness has, in recent years, become rather a thing in the sports world. Dare I say “take a knee.”
I wouldn’t say that sport never really cared about human rights. There is a Wikipedia article entitled
“Sporting boycott of South Africa during the apartheid era”
From a guy who grew up during a time of black and white TV, dial telephones and Sputnik……. THIS is totally cool. To me, technology is absolutely amazing.
@pudman56 Tell me smart guy where Micheal Sam is now ? He really made a big change, for sure.
C’mon, do you think an application which shows a gay kiss in AR will make any change. That’s nice, that’s cute but seriously guys, we are in 2018, i won’t get extatic over this kind of things (but well, coming from people who became crazy over “Love, Simon”, i shouldn’t be surprised).
And you can’t compare NFL with World Cup, you can’t compare a sport only famous in north America and a sport popular over the whole world.
Still waiting for your ideas and direction to affect and forward change, you offer nothing to do so.
Not only is Doctor Benway better at putting someone down than at making a real contribution, the tone of his posts makes it seem he’s proud of it.
I am going to a quarter final game in Sochi on the 7th of July. I wonder if I wave my rainbow flag and wear my proud to be gay t-shirt will either get me locked up or beaten up? Maybe my diplomatic status will help? Either way I believe there is a thriving gay life in Sochi. Maybe i should just give the game a miss and head straight to a bar/club to get laid.
I personally couldn’t care less about sports. But know that even that seemingly-unfriendly field can/does/will change. Here in Sydney, all of the major professional sports leagues are now represented in the annual Mardi Gras (= Pride) parade.
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