In a “social experiment” to see whether Russian citizens behave as badly toward gay men as their reputation suggests, a video cameraman for ChebuRussiaTV secretly filmed two men walking through Moscow holding hands.
The result: Russian passersby went out of their way to insult and assault the pair. “Leave Russia,” one man shouted. Twice, threatening men deliberately collided with them.
In the introduction of the video, one of the ChebuRussiaTV staffers said that, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality, “we decided to check how people in Moscow, Russia, will react to a gay couple.” They put a hidden camera in a backpack carried by another man walking in front of the couple.
The British newspaper The Independent described the video thus:
“The video shows the couple experiencing a range of unpleasant reactions from the Moscow public. Many stare, others laugh and point. One man says to his friend, ‘Look at those gays going by.’ …
“Other phrases heard include, ‘Hey gays there’s too much of you nowadays’ and ‘Leave Russia.’
“Some reactions are frightening. One man deliberately barges into one of the pair and then attempts to put the blame on him. ‘What’s your f***ing problem? Come over here you gay!’ The pair walk away, visibly upset. In a separate occasion, another man does exactly the same thing, only this time barging right in between the pair and then squaring up to one of them, not saying anything, just staring.
“The video emerged just days after Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party hit back against the recent successes of the gay rights movement with a new ‘straight’ flag. The banner celebrates the traditional, nuclear Russian family. The flag depicts two parents – a woman and a man – holding hands with three children.”
Homosexuality is legal in Russia, but LGBTI people are often subjected to harassment. The nation’s notorious anti-“gay propaganda” law is often used to try to silence LGBTI rights activists.
- Russian bloggers gauging attitudes toward gays find violence (usnews.com)
- Moscow Pranksters ‘Amazed’ By Abuse In Viral ‘Hand-In-Hand’ LGBT Video (rferl.org)
- Russia: Moscow’s biggest gay club attacked again (76crimes.com)
- Russian activists: Resilience in the face of repression (76crimes.com)
- First conviction under Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law (76crimes.com)
- Putin signs Russian ‘anti-gay propaganda’ bill into law (76crimes.com)
- Thousands protest Russia’s anti-gay policies (76crimes.com)
- Video: The human cost of Russia’s anti-gay campaign (76crimes.com)