Russia

‘Gay fish’ festival banned in Russia

Eric Ducharme

Eric Ducharme TLC/Strange Fish

Bringing new meaning to the term “clickbait,” Russia is apparently banning a festival intended to celebrate the “gay fish” subculture.

Local authorities in Arkhangelsk are banning a rally in the city that was to honor gay smelt — a very small fish — initially scheduled for January 25th.

Now, gay rights activists are getting their ducks in a row and planning to sue.

The festival was going to be complete with “gay fish” banners and placards asking for a ban in its own right: a ban on overfishing this staple in Russian diets.

For a bit of context, note that St. Petersburg holds a Festival of Smelt in May; a tradition that’s been going on for over 300 years.

How is this LGBTQ news, you ask? (As you often do.)

Well. It’s all an attention-grabbing ruse, really — albeit one with commendable intentions.

The concept of honoring gay fish is clearly intended to be a joke, but it works in order to get people to consider their cause: Russian authorities are putting a tribute to gay fish in the same category as a protest against extremism.

They’re taking the joke far, too: Not only have the activists asked for a ‘gay fish festival,’ they’ve also requested — in a move of questionable taste — the right to march for LGBTQ victims of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. And they want to hold two Winter Pride events, too.

They want it all.

So far, Arkhangelsk local authorities have indeed denied all four requests, due to federal “gay propaganda” law banning the promotion of homosexuality to anyone under eighteen.

The founder of Moscow Pride, Nikolai Alekseev, said: “We will sue in Russia, and we are ready to bring this matter to the European Court of Justice.”

Here’s hoping the lawsuit isn’t dead in the water.

News-4-u reports that “a source named the event’s organizer, LGBT defender Nikolai Alexeyev, a nut.”

h/t: Gay Star News

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