Postcards from St.Petersburg

Alexey Tikhonov

Published on 12/02/13

© Alexey Tikhonov

St. Peters­burg, the cul­tural cap­ital of Rus­sia, the cradle of the most lib­eral and for­ward minded ideas in the country’s his­tory kept mak­ing the head­lines in the news since last year.
In 2012 city’s legis­lat­ors came up with yet another “ahead of the times” his­tor­ical input — anti-gay legis­la­tion, ban­ning any read­ing, writ­ing, speech or debate on any­thing “gay”.
The law’s con­tent is vague – it crim­in­al­izes “pub­lic action aimed at pro­pa­gand­iz­ing sod­omy, les­bi­an­ism, bisexu­al­ism, and trans­gen­der­ism among minors”. Those charged with break­ing the law are to be fined from 500 (160$) to 500 000 rubles.

The hopes that the dis­crim­in­at­ive bill, brought in by con­ser­vat­ive legis­lat­ors try­ing to make their “gay-hate” point won’t go any fur­ther faded for good when brought nation­wide– in Janu­ary 2013 Rus­sian State Duma has passed the first read­ing of the bill.

Where does it leave those who are in love in spite of all the labels and bans?
Won­der­ing, whether this will be their last unpun­ished expres­sion of free­dom and love, gays of the “pro­gress­ive” cap­ital of Rus­sia united their “no” in this most non­vi­ol­ent and romantic protest.

Alexey Tikhanov for colta.ru

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