Russia Hub

Russian Siri Appears to Be Quite Homophobic: WATCH

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Despite the country’s recent fallings out with Apple as a company, Russian demand for Apple products has been strong as a weakened Ruble has resulted in lower prices for certain iOS devices. About $1.3 billion worth of iPhones were sold in Russia alone last year and the relative price drops promise only to further boost the phone’s Russian popularity. To that end Apple has been hard at work to make iPhone more accessible to Russian users.

In a recent update to  iOS, iPhone and iPad users gained the ability to set Siri to speak in and understand commands in Russian. As Russian-speaking YouTube user Alex points out however, Siri appears to have been programmed with a bit more than just new language skills. When asked about finding the nearest gay club or where one might be able to register for a same-sex marriage license, the virtual assistant responds with a variety of homophobic answers ranging from silence to flat-out insults.

“So, now you’re swearing obscenities and then you’re going to eat with those very hands,” the program exclaims when queried about finding registering gay marriages in England.

It’s important to point out that Siri’s localized answers aren’t location-dependent. As Alex points out, he initiated all of his searches from England and had only changed his Siri’s language in his iPad’s settings menu. Though Apple declined to comment on the odd behavior seen in Alex’s video, a spokesman explained to Pink News that it was a bug that the company intends to deal with.

Watch Alex’s video exposing Siri’s homophobic Russian tendencies AFTER THE JUMP...

(h/t Pink News)

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Continue reading "Russian Siri Appears to Be Quite Homophobic: WATCH" »

Russia Bans Social Network Support Group For LGBT Teens: VIDEO


A court in Russia has authorized the government to block the social network page of a support group for LGBT teens, reports Radio Free Europe.

6a00d8341c730253ef01901ec465ed970b-300wiLawyer Maria Kozlovskaya said the support group Deti-404 had been preparing for a court hearing on the issue on April 6th.

However, when activists arrived at the court in St. Petersburg they were told that a decision had already been made to include the group's page on VKontakte on a list of banned websites.

According to Kozlovskaya, it is very likely that the page will be blocked.

404 refers to the error message displayed on computer screens when people attempt to navigate to a web page that doesn't exist.

Last year, Russia’s People's Patriotic Channel claimed that the documentary Deti-404 violated Russia's "gay propaganda" law.

Watch a trailer for the documentary, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Russia Bans Social Network Support Group For LGBT Teens: VIDEO" »

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.


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