Russian Anti-Gay Activists Target PepsiCo for Putting Rainbow on Milk Carton


Anti-gay activists in Russian are going to picket shops that sell a brand of milk produced by PepsiCo's Russian unit, saying it violates laws on "gay propaganda" because it has a rainbow on the label, Reuters reports:

The milk brand is called Vesyoly Molochnik, which translates as Gay Milkman, though in Russian the word vesyoly does not suggest homosexuality. The group said that it was objecting to the rainbow, which it saw as the international symbol for the gay movement.

The group said on Friday that it has asked prosecutors to take action because the packaging violated the law passed in St. Petersburg in February, which makes it illegal to spread "propaganda" that could "damage the health, moral and spiritual development of the underaged". The offence carries a fine of up to 500,000 roubles ($16,100).


  1. Dan says

    I don’t know why Reuters misleadingly translated the name of the brand. весёлые means happy or cheerful. No-one would translate the word as “gay.” (Gay was a synonym for happy in English, not in Russian!) The brand is properly traslated as the Happy Milkman, or the Cheerful Milkman. And rainbows are used for agricultural products in Russia because they symbolize rain… without which you have no grass, and therefore hungry cows, and therefore no milk. Rain=Rainbows=Grass=Happy Cows=Happy Milkmen

  2. Dan says

    (By mistranslating the brand name as “Gay Milkman,” Reuters suggests that the protestors might be “onto something” in terms of hidden symbolism in the branding…. When in fact they are just paranoid nut jobs. Bad journalism, Reuters.)

  3. says

    Reuters misses the point the Russians are fixated on: it’s not just that it’s a rainbow, but it’s a rainbow WITH SIX COLORS instead of seven! Pay no attention to the fact that it includes голубой (light blue), which isn’t on the gay rainbow, and doesn’t include indigo, which is.

    And “gay” is a quite adequate translation for веселый. The only reason anyone would avoid now it is because of the modern meaning of gay as homosexual. I often tell my students that’s exactly what it means. I usually translate the film title and band name Веселые ребята as “gay guys” rather than “jolly fellows” just because.

  4. gb says

    I suppose next they will try to have Mother Nature herself arrested for placing rainbows in the sky…Also don’t let your kids look at waterfalls because at times rainbows can be seen there.

  5. Caliban says

    This would be comical if it wasn’t for the harm they’re doing to the gay people in their own country. How obsessed and paranoid to you have to be to get upset over a friggin’ rainbow?

    Here’s a suggestion. How about for THE next big gay international symbol we use the Onion Dome? Onion Dome Power, Onion Dome Pride, etc. etc. Or Faberge eggs? Then sit back and watch their little heads explode.

  6. eric says

    must the reference to the rainbows be eliminated from readings of genesis? Are paintings of noah’s ark, post flood, to be banned as well? do this poor, uptight fools really think “butt pirate” is the only thing rainbows bring to mind? has queer really trumped all other interpretations of this beautiful, natural phenomenon in russia?

  7. jason says

    These idiot Russians are probably motivated by the Russian Orthodox Church, one of the most homophobic churches in the world. Maybe Communism wasn’t so bad after all – it at least kept the religious wing-nuts at bay.

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