A group of gay rights activists congregated outside of the Russian Embassy in Beijing on Valentine’s day to protest Russia’s antigay laws and show support to those affected by the legislation banning ‘propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations’.
The New York Times’ Sinosphere reports:
Behind a rainbow banner that read “To Russia with Love,” a dozen activists cheered as three couples puckered up and kissed in front of a countdown clock for the Sochi Winter Olympics outside the embassy’s tall walls.
“Love is better than hate,” said Xu Bin, director of Common Language, a gay rights advocacy group. Mr. Xu said the protest was a meaningful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and China’s traditional Lantern Festival, which also fell on Feb. 14 this year.
“Putin has a very bad attitude towards gays, who have to live with the threat of violence,” Xiao Tie, executive director of the Beijing Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center, told Sinosphere. “Russia still needs some education on diversity. That is the reason for today’s advocacy mission.”
While Chinese LGBT activists agree that gay rights issues are largely avoided by the Chinese government, antigay violence is still less common in China than in Russia.
Members of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG China) last year even penned a letter to China’s first lady Peng Liyuan urging further legislation against gay discrimination and equal rights for their loved ones who identify as LGBT.
Earlier this week, another activist from Vancouver claimed that he was attacked at the Guangzhou airport after being recognized as the organizer of protests against Russia’s antigay laws outside of the Russian Embassy in Vancouver.
[Image Credit: Shen Qiang via Sinosphere]