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Europe

Hundreds stage ‘kiss-in’ outside Russian Consulate in Antwerp

Sunday, August 11, 2013

ANTWERP, Belgium — More than 400 men and women staged a kiss-in protest outside the Russian Consulate in Antwerp on Friday to demonstrate support for Russia’s LGBT community and protest against that country’s recently approved anti-gay laws.

The event — “To Russia with Love” — was timed to coincide with the final days of World Out Games, being held in Antwerp, a twin city of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Virginia Mayo, AP
Two men take part in a kiss-in in front of the Russian Consulate in Antwerp, Belgium on Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.

Kiss-in participants, which included many openly gay athletes, also called for the Winter 2014 Olympic Games moved out of Sochi to another location, in protest of the anti-gay laws.

The demonstration protested against Russia’s new federal law, recently signed by President Vladimir Putin in June, that bans so-called “propaganda of homosexuality,” imposing fines and up to 15 days in prison for people found guilty of its violation.

Yury Gavirkov, Chair of St. Petersburg Pride, who was arrested for during his own pride event in Russia, also attended the Antwerp kiss-in, as did several Antwerp city officials.

Participants also decorated and tied colored ribbons to the fence of the city’s Russian Consulate.

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12 more reader comments:

  1. good luck with that… why provoke them? isnt there a PG way to get our point across?

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 4:53pm
  2. I´ve never been a big fan of PDA, whether straight or gay. Why can´t we just do an old fashion protest.

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 4:55pm
  3. Kissing isn´t PG?

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 5:06pm
  4. i had said that same question..Angel..why provoke them..isn´t there a better way to make our point?

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 5:15pm
  5. Kissing and affection is a natural and God given gift…God bless them for their efforts!

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 5:16pm
  6. I agree with Sylvia and Janine. Since when is kissing not “PG”. The article didn´t state that they were having make out sessions, or orgies. It was just kissing.

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 5:28pm
  7. Honestly? If a bunch of straight people did this people wouldn´t bat an eyelash. A good old fashion protest, Brian? Would you prefer riots and picketing? This sends a message: we will not hide. We won´t be afraid to be equal or to do what everyone else is allowed to. Also, when hasn´t kissing been PG? The Lady and the Tramp anyone? Sleeping Beauty? It isn´t like a kiss-in is a blood orgy or something. They kissed each other to show a message. Seriously.

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 5:46pm
  8. Kissing has been long a traditional symbol of love and affection. I think that it rather fits that all that are part of the LGBT community would use such a symbol in protest, as the opposition uses violence and hate and anger, we will use love. <3

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 6:02pm
  9. :´( it´s so sad to see this it´s beautiful what their doing but all those people are probably gonna get arrested, putin will get his eventually tho

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 6:29pm
  10. No, no, no. This is Belgium. That province of Argentina has always been real liberal and stuff. Really.

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 7:25pm
  11. This is awesome

    Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 7:45pm
  12. Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 11:38pm