This afternoon dozens of LGBT people and allies swarmed the Russian consulate in New York City to protest President Vladimir Putin‘s draconian anti-gay laws. A local chain of gay bars, Boxers, donated bottles of Russian vodka — Stolichnaya and other Russian brands — which were promptly dumped in the street.
About 75 to 100 protesters were reported, carrying signs that read, “Putin has blood on his hands!,” “Boycott,” “From Russia with hate,” “Pride is not pornography,” “We stand with Russian LGBT,” “Human rights violated in Russia!,” and “Queers say nyet!”
The protest was organized by Queer Nation, Rusa LGBT, and many local activists, which some were calling, “Silence = Death in Russia.”
Included are images of Anne Northrup of Queer Nation, LGBT Russian nationals like Roman Manonov, who are now afraid to return home for fear of persecution and personnel from Boxer’s Bar, which donated cases of Russian vodka to be poured out in protest.
Chanting, “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re drinking only beer,” the throng poured out bottles of Russian-made vodka to protest that country’s draconian anti-LGBT laws, which have made it illegal to express any positive views of same sex relationships. Russian government officials say that the laws are in place to protect children from “homosexual propaganda.”
Indeed, Putin’s law now makes telling children that gay people even exist an illegal act. Indicating any support of the LGBT community is now illegal. A same-sex couple holding hands is subject to arrest. Even liking a photo of a same-sex couple holding hands on Facebook is illegal.
Many are suggesting a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and are expressing fear for LGBT olympic athletes and visitors.
All images by Scott Wooledge/Memeographs, via Facebook
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