Rammstein defy homophobic Russian laws

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Many queer activists are working to expose and push back against the state-backed homophobia in Russia. This work is vital, and earlier this week, members of the German industrial metal band Rammstein, did their part in being allies with a smooch on the lips.

Rammstein has been on a bit of a bender with their queer allyship in their current performance tour. They’ve waved Pride flags in Poland as a response to the anti-queer efforts there, and they’ve been kissing a little bit. So much so, that fans have conjoined the names of the two guitarists who have been doing the kissing (Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe) into the mononym “Paulchard.”

At a stop in Russia, Paulchard kissed again. And while that seems par the course, in Russia there’s a “gay propaganda” law that’s been in effect since 2013. That law makes the distribution of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships” among minors illegal and an offence punishable by imprisonment and fines. Two men kissing on a major stage and taking photos of that to post on Instagram would definitely fall in that category.

While it seems the pair have made it through without any trouble, according to the law, “foreigners may be arrested and detained for up to 15 days, then deported or fined up to 5,000 rubies and deported.” What’s more, is the band posted the photo to Instagram with the caption “Russia we love you,” in Russian.

Comments 2

  1. Why are people like that always going to Russia and similar places to play radical progressives? Is it so that they can flee to Western Europe afterwards, where they’ll be loved for their courageous acts (thus becoming more popular as well as earning more money)?

    How about doing something radical in Western Europe instead? Of course, then there’s no place to flee afterwards.

    1. When it comes to music, esp metal, it’s not about social activism so much as shocking the audience. In places like Russia, the two just happen to align.

      In more “progressive” countries, you get bands like Hatari that shock audiences by supporting Palestine and promoting anti-capitalist ideas.

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