Russian LGBT Activists Stage Gay Kiss-In at IKEA
By Alex Panisch
Photography by Svetlana Danchenkova
This passed Saturday, the Rainbow Association and several independent Russian activists staged a “kiss-in” at an IKEA in Khimki, a city just northwest of Moscow. The group protested IKEA removing a story about a lesbian couple from the Russian edition of the furniture giant’s 2013 catalogue. IKEA says it was only acting in accordance to Russia’s “gay propaganda law.” According to Queer Russia, though the protest drew attention, shoppers did not act aggressively toward the group. Two gay male couples and one lesbian couple took part in the protest.
Gleb Latnik, who coordinated the protest, told Queer Russia, “This is what we feared from the start: the law is so vague that any positive or neutral information about same-sex relationships will fall under it, and we see it happening now. Today we have staged the action to show IKEA top management that among their clients in Russia there are also gay couples who are not happy about such attitude to them.”
A similar protest took place in Brooklyn in November. The Brooklyn IKEA kiss-in was also in protest of the company's yielding to Russia's anti-gay law.