(TMU) — Rammstein, the German industrial heavy metal band, defied Russia’s anti-LGBT laws during their set at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium this week.
Guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe shared a quick kiss on stage during their performance, in direct violation of the country’s “gay propaganda” law, which has been in effect since 2013.
The law essentially makes it a crime to present any non-traditional sexual preferences or lifestyles as “normal” in media or any type of public space.
The stated purpose of the law is to “protect” children from being “exposed” to non-traditional lifestyles and sexual preferences.
In a later post on Instagram, the band shared a picture of the two guitarists kissing with the caption, “Russia, We Love You!”
From Russia with love: another anti-homophobia statement from Rammstein. Last week in Poland, a rainbow flag. This time, in Moscow, a kiss.
Posted by DW Culture on Thursday, August 1, 2019
By breaking the law as foreigners, the musicians were risking arrest or detainment for up to 15 days as well as possible deportation. There is also a fine of up to 5,000 rubles, which amounts to less than $80. The most significant danger is the potential arrest and resulting abuse that could happen while in custody.
Sadly, members of the LGBTQ community face danger on the streets of Russia on a daily basis.
Last week, NBC reported that Russian LGBTQ activist Yelena Grigoryeva was fatally stabbed just days after her name appeared on a website that publishes the personal information of LGBTQ activists and encourages people to “hunt” them. The site even offers up prizes to anyone who carries out an attack on one of the targets.
According to some reports, the website was inspired by the horror movie Saw and is still operational, displaying personal information of many other activists.
Members of the LGBTQ community in Russia have said that they are receiving no help from the government, which seems to turn a blind eye to the violence.
Three days before she was killed, Grigoryeva posted on Facebook expressing her concerns about her information being posted on that website. She also said that law enforcement was ignoring the issue.
ВНИМАНИЕ, ЭТО ВАЖНО! Вчера благодаря жалобам Ресурсного центра для ЛГБТ в Екатеринбурге был заблокирован сайт «Пилы»,…
“Law enforcement agencies have still not done anything to find the creators of this ‘game’ and bring them to justice,” Grigoryeva wrote.
Friend and fellow activist Dinar Idrisov said that regardless of the country’s laws against homosexuality, everyone should have a right to life.
Беда. В Питере снова убили гражданского активиста.Upd.+++Елена Григорьева была похоронена сегодня на деревенском…
“The state of Russia was obliged to guarantee her the right to life. Lena and her lawyer appealed to law enforcement agencies both on the fact of violence and on the fact of threats, but there was no noticeable reaction,” Idrisov wrote.