A large and noisy group of pro-LGBT rights protesters assembled at the Russian consulate on East 91st Street in New York City Wednesday. According to the HIV-AIDS activist group ACT UP’s Twitter feed, the protest began around noon on Wednesday and included protesters pouring Russian vodka on to the sidewalk in front of the consulate building.
Chanting, “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re drinking only beer,” the throng poured out bottles of Russian-made vodka to protest that country’s draconian anti-LGBT laws, which have made it illegal to express any positive views of same sex relationships. Russian government officials say that the laws are in place to protect children from “homosexual propaganda.”
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has pledged that the laws will not affect the guests and athletes in the former Soviet Union for the 2014 Winter Olympic games, but St. Petersburg politician Vitaly Milanov said in an interview with Moscow radio Tuesday that the laws will be enforced equally across all of Russia, including against LGBT visitors.
UPDATE: A shot of the crowd at the Russian Consulate via Act Up is embedded below.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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