Discrimination | Moscow | Russia

Gay Russian Man Forced By Employer To Marry Woman

Picture 27Russia's so homophobic, it won't even tolerate gay flight attendants.

Maxim Kupreev is a 25-year-old flight attendant employed by Aeroflot, Russia's largest airline. In order to change the prevailing anti-gay atmosphere in his workplace, Kupreev decided to organize a group of LGBT Aeroflot employees. In response, his bosses commanded him: Marry a woman or you're fired.

From GayStarNews:

The creation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group in Aeroflot was announced on 20 June 2011. At this time, Kupreev, the founder of the group said it would fight for the direct inclusion of discrimination ban on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity into internal documents of Aeroflot. His group also planned to fight for the recognition of same-sex partners of the employees.

The next day the official spokesperson of the airline, Irina Dannenberg, told the French news agency AFP that there was no LGBT group in her company. According to her, ‘one should separate personal and professional life,’ AFP reported.

And yet:

Kupreev was given an ultimatum late last year to enter into heterosexual marriage or to lose his job. At the end of 2011 he married his school friend Sofia Mikhailova who got the right to fly Aeroflot for 10% of the fare – and other company privileges.

In order to register marriage with Kupreev, Mikhailova had to dissolve her real marriage to Grigoriy Andreykin. The divorce was finalised on 11 October last year.

‘Aeroflot effectively broke a real marriage and created a sham one,’ [said Nikolai Alekseev, founder of Moscow Pride.]

Alekseev and other Russian activists have organized a boycott of Aeroflot, which shall begin on February 9th at a protest outside Aeroflot's Moscow offices.

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  1. Please help us make Madonna's single bomb:


    Posted by: Rick | Jan 29, 2012 4:31:45 PM

  2. Except for the recent baby steps toward tolerance and democracy Russians have always been ruled by despots,either Tsarists or Communists. It will take a long time for Russia to become an open, tolerant and democratic society. Look at us. We started this journey toward freedom,tolerance and democracy about 236 years ago and we aren't there yet.

    Posted by: Jack | Jan 29, 2012 4:36:41 PM

  3. That's a sweet thing for his friend to do, but it seems a little extreme. Maybe he should have looked for a new job?

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 29, 2012 4:44:17 PM

  4. Apparently it was a very good compromise. He kept his job and the woman gets spousal benefits from the airline and still stays with her "ex-husband". I bet a lot of gays in Russia get married just to get rewards from the government.

    Posted by: simon | Jan 29, 2012 5:15:51 PM

  5. This is so offensive. Russia sucks.

    Posted by: nikko | Jan 29, 2012 5:38:27 PM

  6. Russia, the most bigoted, nativist, homophobic country in the world. You can thank the execrable Orthodox Christian Church for that.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 29, 2012 7:12:37 PM

  7. Perhaps it might be useful if Delta Air Lines was contacted. Why is Delta coordinating with airlines that discriminate against Gay persons.

    Posted by: Tom in Lazybrook | Jan 29, 2012 7:29:40 PM

  8. Russia since a long time ago tried to mimic the western European world. But hey, it still stays in a primitive barbarian state, never respecting people’s choices or opinions. No matter how how many disguises they use, is how they act –and acted- what defines the character of a country. You would think that after so many pains and dead the country would be better at advocating human rights, but conversely it gets worse by the minute.

    Posted by: Poporochoclo | Jan 29, 2012 7:42:32 PM

  9. um, Rick, your "Mother Monster" Project SUCKS. Gaga wouldn't exist without Madonna. Get a clue. Also: you're COMPLETELY OFF TOPIC YOU BIG GIANT DOU$HEBAG!

    I used to really really want to visit Russia. Between the horrific prices, the mafia and the out of control homophobia sanctioned by the government there's NO WAY.

    Posted by: wtf | Jan 29, 2012 8:35:57 PM

  10. The nice thing about the Soviet Union was that the totalitarians kept somewhat of a lid on the flow of vodka. once the Commies went kaput the vodka flowed like water and it hasn't let up since.

    I read a Conde Nast Traveler review of Aeroflot back in the 90's. They said Russian Roulette was safer than flying Aeroflot.

    Na Zdorovie my homophobic comrades!

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Jan 30, 2012 12:04:47 AM

  11. That's some quality sanctity of marriage, right there.

    Posted by: Book 7 | Jan 30, 2012 10:47:58 AM

  12. What Tom in Lazybrook said.

    Aeroflot is a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, a consortium of airlines which also includes Delta Airlines, Air France, KLM, and a lot of others. They share flight itineraries, frequent flier programs, and so forth.

    It would be good if some of these airlines could be convinced to condemn Aeroflot's actions.

    Posted by: Queer Canuck | Jan 30, 2012 3:05:04 PM

  13. Hi there, I started a petition on Change to address this pressing issue. Please take a minute of your time to sign and make your voice heard. Thank you. http://www.change.org/petitions/aeroflot-end-the-alliance-with-anti-gay-aeroflot

    Posted by: nebur | Feb 7, 2012 7:44:50 PM

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