Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party has created a “straight pride” flag as a response to America’s Supreme Court ruling about gay marriage. It also counters the popular rainbow flag used by LGBT people.
“This is our response to same-sex marriage, this mockery of the concept of family,” declared Alexey Lisovenko, head of the United Russia Moscow branch. “We have to fight off gay fever at home and maintain traditional values.”
Putin came under fire in June 2013 when he signed the anti-gay propaganda law. The law banned people from handing out “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. It also made it “illegal to equate straight and gay relationships, as well as the distribution of material on gay rights.”
The flag is available in red, white, and blue, the same colors as the Russian flag. Each flag includes a man and a woman with three children. The hashtag #НастоящаяCемья, which translates to #RealFamily, appears under the family.
The government used the hashtag to promote traditional values in time for its Day of Family. The holiday, established in 2008, is used to celebrate the Kremlin’s imposition of these values. Some regions in Russia even ban divorces for the day.
Putin’s United Russia party’s campaign against alternate sexualities appeared on the radar years ago when it passed the law. But its opposition towards gays did not stop there. Vitaly Milonov, the architect of the propaganda law, wants Russia to outlaw HBO’s popular Game of Thrones for its themes of incest, homosexuality, and rape.
“Every tenth character in it [Game of Thrones] is a sexual deviant,” he stated. “It is precisely through this kind of content and its popularization that a new model is introduced in our conscience, leading people to believe that certain things and events are normal.”
Conditions for openly gay and lesbian Russians are so dire that America is experiencing a surge in the number of LGBT Russians seeking asylum. Many of these people leave lucrative jobs and take low paying jobs in the United States just so they can be themselves without fear.
In May, Russian police arrested seventeen people at a gay flashmob in Moscow, according to reports. Reuters reported that more than 50 people attended the flashmob, “but crowd control police drove up a bus and started shoving the protesters inside before they managed to unfurl any banners or chant any slogans.”