Headlines

SOUTH AFRICAN GAYS KISS IN SUPPORT OF RUSSIAN GAYS

Fri, 23 August 2013

Kissing for gay equality in Pretoria (Pic: Mambaonline.com)
Gay and lesbian South Africans staged kiss-in protests in Cape Town and Pretoria against Russia's anti-gay legislation on Friday.

In Pretoria, a small group of around 20 people turned out at the Russian embassy in Menlo Park.

The gathering included representatives of Johannesburg Pride, Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Mr.Gay World.

Holding up signs that proclaimed "no hate" a number of same-sex couples – including former Mr. Gay South Africa Jason Rogers and his boyfriend – kissed each other in front of the building, surprising astonished security guards and SAPS officials.

Their actions were meant to highlight the reality that if they had kissed in Russia they would have faced being arrested, fined and thrown out of the country under the new gay propaganda law.

Earlier, Coenie W. Kukkuk from Mr. Gay World and Kaye Ally from Johannesburg Pride spoke to Russian officials who came out to meet the protest group.

Kukkuk said he was not in favour of a boycott of the Sochi Olympics in 2014 as innocent athletes from nations who do respect human rights would be affected, some of whom have worked for most of their adult lives for their Olympic moment.

Protesters in Cape Town (Pic: Simon D / PINK Paparazzi)

However, he called for targeted sanctions against the Russian legislators responsible for the anti-gay law.

Ally said to the officials: "In South Africa we respect diversity and equality in our constitution and homophobia is not welcome here."

The officials agreed to convey the message to the Russian ambassador and asked for a memorandum to be sent by e-mail. A memorandum prepared earlier by Ally was lost when she was attacked and robbed at her home on Thursday.

Ally expressed her dismay at the poor turnout for the protest, asking, in part humorously, “Surely there are more gay people in Pretoria?”

In Cape Town, a small group of LGBT protesters held a similar kiss-in organised by Cape Town Pride outside of the Russian consulate on Riebeek Street in the city centre.

Unlike in Pretoria, the protesters called for a boycott of the Sochi Olympic Games and held up placards with the words “Sochi: hate on ice” and “Sochi: winter of hate” and manipulated images of Russian President Vladimir Putin wearing makeup.

Russia's gay propaganda law effectively bars any public display of, or support for, homosexuality in public, on television, in print or on the internet.

by Staff Writer (with help from Coenie W. Kukkuk)

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Worried 8/29/2013 8:21:04 AM Down Up Reply REPLY
Just a concern,

I am fb friends with all the Mr Gay SA winners. And after the whole story this year of Jason and Steve, i still see Jason doing more in the Gay Scene than steve.

Specifically this Russian-Kiss. I saw Jason posted allot of stuff about it, yet Steve didnt even mention ONE word on he's fb, neither twitter! And he is representing 'me' and the gay scene?

Fucking Disgrace of a Mr GSA! Idiot!
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Fransie 8/29/2013 8:21:04 AM Down Up Reply REPLY
True true!
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deon 8/29/2013 6:05:32 AM Down Up Reply REPLY
the reason for small turn out is that south African queers are their own worst enemy. they closet themselves to such a degree that standing together will be impossible.
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deon 8/29/2013 6:03:14 AM Down Up Reply REPLY
gays must stop drinking vodka. even if it is made locally.
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Comment:
Mark Greenberg 8/24/2013 9:44:07 AM Down Up Reply REPLY
There are a lot of people that would love to attend the protest but most of us work. These protests even against E-TOL are usually held in the week during work hours, it does make it difficult.
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SeCo 8/23/2013 10:43:33 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
Not sure about others, but I only read about this yesterday. I know most people would have to take time off work to attend. perhaps better marketing and more notice period would yield a larger crowd. I do agree, apathy is a problem.
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Ian F 8/23/2013 8:29:30 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
It can't be done on a weekend as there are no officials there then.
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Dpd 8/23/2013 7:33:21 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
I can understand some people were working etc! Nevertheless a job well done.
Its for a good cause! Lets spread the LOVE and the much needed support!
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Ian F 8/23/2013 7:24:28 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
Rather 20 committed people than a 1000 drunk ones who do not know why they are even there ...
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bbop 8/23/2013 6:49:58 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
Sadly gay people often are fickle when it comes to social issues. Just remember despite our constitution not everyone in SA loves the gays. We should be standing up for our brothers and sisters when they're oppressed. Not sure of all the reasons for the poor turn-out but apathy is definitely a big problem.
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