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Anti-gay Russian Lawmaker Vitaly Milonov Prepares Bill Targeting Same-Sex Marriage Loophole

St. Petersburg politician Vitaly Milonov is drafting a bill to eradicate a loophole in Russia's same-sex marriage ban after lesbian couple Irina Shumilova and Alyona Fursova tied the knot last Friday, reports Pink News.

Picture 6Russia's marriage laws don't recognize transgender identities and classify Russian citizens strictly by their sex at birth. Bride Irina Shumilova [middle], who was born male and now identifies as a woman, took advantage of the oppressive law and married her wife in a Russian registrars office while both wore wedding gowns.

Milonov called the clever move the couple pulled an "ugly insult to millions of Russian families" and announced Thursday that he plans on crafting a bill to eliminate the loophole.

Milonov told Russian newspaper The Izvestia his reasoning behind his new oppressive bill:

Milonov"At present… there is a dress code by which everyone must abide when visiting state institutions. Therefore, one should not dress inappropriately when visiting (any) event associated with a change in one’s civil status.

"It’s a matter of culture and education… We will not allow people dressed in clothes [associated] with the opposite sex or beach clothes to register their marriage at the registry office. Except for when that clothing is an element of their culture or of ethnic origin."

Milonov is also calling for Apple CEO Tim Cook to be banned from entering Russia over fears that he would bring AIDS or Ebola into the country. St. Petersburg was the first city in Russia to pass an ordinance banning "Gay propaganda," with the rest of the nation following suit modeling and passing similar legislation based on the city's ordinance.  

Shumilova and Fursova are not the first couple to circumvent Russia's same-sex marriage ban, however. In August, couple Allison Brooks and Alina Davis bypassed the law as well because Davis identifies as androgyne, but the Russian government considers Davis as male reports Pink News. Both wore wedding dresses when they signed the application papers even though registrars asked them not to.


Anti-gay Russian Lawmaker Calls for Treason Charges Against St. Petersburg Clerks for 'Same-sex Wedding'

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Vitaly Milonov, the notorious St. Peterstburg lawmaker who championed Russia's anti-gay 'propaganda' ban last year, is furious about a 'same-sex wedding' that took place in the city on Friday, BBC reports:

MilonovThe couple, named as Irina Shumilova [above right] and Alyona Fursova, arrived at a registry office in St Petersburg, both wearing white bridal dresses and carrying bouquets.

They posted pictures of the ceremony on the Russian social media site Vkontakte.

Irina, who describes herself as transsexual rather than transgender, is still undergoing hormone therapy.

Mr Milonov - one of the most ardent supporters of the 2013 law - told Russian media the staff at the registry office should be tried for treason or criminal negligence.

He would seek the marriage's annulment to avoid "an ugly insult to millions of Russian families in the future", he added.

"There are certain moral standards which it is vital to implement," he said. "These mad people should be banned altogether from getting married."

Last month, after Tim Cook came out as gay, Milonov called for a lifetime travel ban on the Apple CEO. 

[top photo via vt.com]


A Russian Monument to Honor Steve Jobs Has Been Torn Down Because Tim Cook is Gay

Zefs

In St. Petersburg, Russia, a memorial to the late Apple founder Steve Jobs which resembled a giant iPhone with a large screening and a QR code on the back has been taken down by ZEFS, the company which funded its erection in 2013, Business Insider reports:

Speaking in a press release sent to Russian media outlets, ZEFS chairman Maxim Dolgopolov explained that the memorial was torn down for two reasons: Tim Cook coming out as gay and Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA spying. (Snowden's documents suggest Apple products were used by the NSA to conduct surveillance.) He didn't rule out reinstalling the memorial, however, but said that it would only return if it could be modified to instruct Russian citizens to use products from companies other than Apple.

Apparently the Snowden revelations didn't warrant the monument's removal on their own since they happened months ago. ZEFS Chief Maxim Dolgopolov told Business FM Radio that because Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay, the monument now violates Russia's law banning gay "propaganda" to minors. He also urged users to switch to computer products that are not subject to surveillance (good luck).

Watch a video of the monument's unveiling in 2013, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "A Russian Monument to Honor Steve Jobs Has Been Torn Down Because Tim Cook is Gay" »


St. Petersburg Queerfest Hit With Additional Closures and Attacks from Anti-gay Activists & Police: VIDEO

Queerfest

As we reported earlier, the International Queer Culture Festival in St. Petersberg had a rough opening week - with a series of disruptions by numerous anti-gay activists - including lawmaker (and leading sponsor of Russia's anti-gay propaganda ban) Vitaly Milonov. Now, however, it has become clear that the roadblocks being placed on the festival are coming from more than just anti-gay activists, but from Russian police as well. 

In an updated post, GLAAD reports that QueerFest has faced additional venue closures and harassment - with police attempting on Wednesday to shut down a press conference ironically titled "Who is Shutting Down QueerFest?" Festival organizers have stopped openly publishing festival venues and have begun streaming events through an online video feed. 

Organizers have shared a video of the opening ceremony attack, which you can watch AFTER THE JUMP...

You can also head over to GLAAD to see the timeline of anti-gay incidents at Queerfest. 

Continue reading "St. Petersburg Queerfest Hit With Additional Closures and Attacks from Anti-gay Activists & Police: VIDEO" »


Anti-gay Activists Disrupt St. Petersburg QueerFest, Attack Festival Goers With Gas: VIDEO

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The International Queer Culture Festival's kick off in St. Petersburg on Thursday was disrupted by anti-gay activists - including lawmaker Vitaly Milonov [pictured below] and others associated with the Russian Orthodox faith.

MilonovReported Polina Andrianova, one of the QueerFest organizers:

About 20 hooligans sprayed guests with green substance and some sort of putrid gas. At one point, two foreign guests were being pulled into the venue by the security while being pulled out by their feet by the perpetrators.

The police, who carried themselves professionally, were taking numerous statements by the victims, while St. Petersburg ombudsman urged more people to document violations.

Andrianova also reported on the on-going struggle to secure a location for the festival - as venues continue to cave to anti-gay pressure and cancel on organizers.

Molinov, you may recall, was a leading sponsor of Russia's bill banning homosexual 'propaganda.' Molinov also called for a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year - or as he called it the "Sodom show" because of drag performer Conchita Wurst's participation. 

Check out a video of the festival - including a brief apparance by Molinov, AFTER THE JUMP...(note: Russian language)

Continue reading "Anti-gay Activists Disrupt St. Petersburg QueerFest, Attack Festival Goers With Gas: VIDEO" »


St. Petersburg Pride Rally Denied Permission Takes Place Without Violence

A Gay Pride event took place without any violence in St. Petersburg, Russia, last Saturday, reports The Moscow Times.

SppLast week, event organisers Ravnopraviye said that they intended to hold the rally despite officials denying a request for permission.

The rally happened on the Field of Mars square, a newly created free-speech zone in the city. While The Moscow Times said that 24 people took part, Queer Russia estimated the number to be around 150.

Police accompanied activists both to and from the rally.

During the rally, activists talked about the need to respect civil rights and thanked the police for their protection.

According to Pink News, some attendees were detained for carrying placards depicting images and sayings which fell under Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.

The law, signed by Vladimir Putin last June, bans the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors.

At least six people were arrested at two gay pride rallies in Moscow last May.


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