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Gay Man In Russia Defies Anti-LGBT Laws With Cover Of Hozier's 'Take Me To Church': VIDEO


A gay man in Russia has defied the country’s draconian anti-gay laws by performing a cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” at a talent competition in small south western city Kursk, reports BreakingNews.

The song addresses the violence and bigotry suffered by LGBT citizens in Russia.

According to a post on Reddit, the man - identified only as Pedrinho - pointed towards his boyfriend when as he sang the line "I was born sick but I love it.”

Kursk RussiaReddit member Boxersaurus wrote:

"My friend, a Brazilian medical student here in Russia was born in an extremely Catholic family, his father is a Pastor, born into a church family, this song really speaks to him. He came out when he was 12 years old, and until now, his family never truly accepted him.

"Even when he turned 19 years old, he was still not sure and got into bouts of depression, his family never supporting him. This is really him trying to sing out his pain. He's not just gay and proud, he's just human. Wanting to tell the world that he's ok, and he's surviving.

"And, that he finally found someone he can sing his song of life to, my best friend who ended up dating him, who is Malaysian and was brought up in an extremely Buddhist family. In his case, only his mother knew about his sexuality and it pained his mother so much, she fell sick.

"According to Hozier, this song is about what it is to be a human, what it is to love someone as a human being, and organizations that would undermine that, and undermine the more natural parts of being a person.

"If you feel offended or disgusted by the image of two people kissing, if that's what it is, but you're more disgusted by that than the actual violence...I think you should take a look at your values, maybe.”

Watch a video of Pedrinho’s performance and the original video for the song, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Man In Russia Defies Anti-LGBT Laws With Cover Of Hozier's 'Take Me To Church': VIDEO" »

Russia and Anti-Gay Nations Fail in Effort to Stop UN from Offering Benefits to Married Gay Staffers


The UN budget committee has approved a plan proposed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to offer benefits to all spouses of legally-wed gay UN staffers, the AP reports:

In Tuesday's vote, 43 countries supported a Russian-sponsored resolution that called for the U.N. chief's plan to be dropped while 80 countries opposed it and 37 abstained. Currently, family benefits for U.N. staff members are determined by their country of origin. The secretary-general's plan will give family benefits to all staffers who are legally married — regardless of the laws on same-sex marriage in their home countries.

Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, India, Egypt, Pakistan, and Syria joined Russia in opposing the benefits.

Reuters adds:

Russia wanted the 193-member General Assembly Fifth Committee, which deals with the U.N. budget, to overturn Ban's decision and had been threatening to put the measure to a vote since December.

Deputy Russian U.N. Ambassador Petr Iliichev said before the vote that the United Nations should return to how the issue was previously regulated, citing it as "an example of how the United Nations respects cultural differences, the sovereign right of each and every state to determine its norms."

Russia Attempting to Block UN Staff Benefits for Gay Couples

Last July, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (pictured below) announced that the UN would formally recognize and extend benefits to all legal same-sex marriages of its staff.

Russia is now trying to change that.  

Reuters reports:

UnRussia wants the General Assembly Fifth Committee, which deals with the United Nationsbudget, to overturn Ban's decision and requested a vote on Tuesday. Russia has been threatening to put the measure to a vote since December.

The Fifth Committee website was updated on Friday to show that "action" would be taken on the proposal on Tuesday.

Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was unclear how much support there was for the measure. The Russian U.N. mission declined to comment.

Russian Language 'IKEA Family Live' Magazine Cancelled To Avoid Violating Anti-Gay Propaganda Law


Ikea is shuttering the Russian edition of Ikea Family Live, its popular online home and lifestyle magazine, for fear of violating the country’s anti-gay propaganda that criminalizes the production of images showing LGBT lifestyles in a positive light. While Ikea has been clear that its is still very much an ardent supporter of its gay customers’ rights, the company could be slapped with financial penalties or a three-month long cease-and-desist for the continued production of a Russian language version of the magazine.

Ikea first dealt with Russian censorship back in 2013 when the furniture giant chose to to edit an interview with an English lesbian couple out of the magazine under similar circumstances. At the time Ikea representatives cited their desire to operate in accordance with local laws. This time around however, the company’s decided to pull the plug entirely rather than capitulate.

“The magazine reflects the values of the Ikea company, including equal rights and opportunities for all,” Ikea representatives explained in an online statement in Russian. “We also consider our readers have the right to decide for themselves, what publications might be interesting or worthwhile for them.”

Ikea Family Live will continue to be published in other languages.

Russia Wants To Block Benefits For Families of Gay U.N. Employees


Russia has demanded that the United Nations (UN) reverse last year’s decision to offer marital benefits to LGBT employees, reports Foreign Policy.

Speaking on Monday morning at a UN budget committee, Russian diplomat Sergey Khalizov said that the administrative ruling announced by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (above) last June violates a General Assembly resolution that left it to UN employees’ governments to determine whether employees are eligible for spousal benefits.

2000px-Flag_of_the_United_Nations.svgRussia’s spokesman told Foreign Policy:

“For us it is a very important issue. We would prefer to make a decision…by consensus but if some delegations do not demonstrate a constructive approach to the concerns raised by us and shared by many other member states, then we’ll have no other choice but to call for a vote.”

It is thought that Russia could win if it calls for a vote on the issue, partly because the permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States) cannot use a veto at the budget committee, known as the Fifth Committee.

The move is seen as a cynical political maneuver that aims to check the authority of a UN leader who has clashed with Moscow over its policies from Syria to Ukraine.

Jessica Stern, the executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, said:

“[Russia] is looking for any excuse to curtail the UN Secretary-General’s authority. It’s no secret that the Secretary-General and Russia have been at cross-purposes over Ukraine and Syria, and the Russians have found the perfect political vehicle for attacking him.”

Philippe Bolopion, the UN representative for Human Rights Watch, said member states “should push back hard against Russia’s backwards efforts to impose on the UN the same kind of homophobic attitudes Moscow promotes at home.”

UN officials say if the Russian initiative were to succeed, it could have an impact well beyond same-sex marriages, risking benefits for children adopted in a foreign country.

Russian Government Takes Revenge on Lesbians Who Kiss-Trolled Anti-Gay Politician


In early February we reported on a pair of lesbians who found themselves on a plane with Russia's leading anti-gay politician Vitaly Milonov, and decided to troll him by capturing him in a photo in which they were kissing. They then posted the photo to social media where it went viral.

The couple owns Infinity, a lesbian nightclub in St. Petersburg.

MilonovNow, the action has cost them in a big way, Global Voices reports:

Milonov didn’t find the stunt very amusing, however. He called the girls “crazy little morons” and said he was “ashamed for their parents, who raised such idiots.”

Two days later, on February 3, an anti-gay online community based in Moscow and St. Petersburg published a call to get Infinity closed down. The group posted instructions and a scripted complaint to be sent to the district attorney, demanding that police shut down the lesbian nightclub. Community members were also encouraged to appeal to Roskomnadzor, Russia’s state-run media watchdog, and federal anti-drug agents, based on claims that Infinity opens its doors to minors and operates as a center for illegal drug use.

The anti-gay group, called Moscow Isn’t Sodom and Petersburg Isn’t Gomorrah, claims that at least 524 of the club’s 30,000 VKontakte community members are underage, making the “propagation of homosexuality” a federal crime. Access to Infinity’s VKontakte group is restricted to members, making it difficult to verify accusations that it caters to minors.

Those who want the nightclub shut down are instructed to convey their concerns to police. “I have every reason to believe,” the scripted complaint reads, “that the promotional activities carried out at the lesbian club Infinity pose a serious threat to the physical and mental health of minors who manage to enter the establishment.”

Infinity was raided as a direct result of the kissing selfie. Whether or not the club will be shut for good is not clear.


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