How Far the Russian Ban on Gay ‘Propaganda’ Extends

How bigoted is Russia against gay people these days? So bigoted that they removed a memorial to a man because the person who succeeded him as the head of a major company came out publicly as gay. In Russia, that counts as “gay propaganda” and a “public call for sodomy.”

A memorial to Apple Inc founder Steve Jobs has been dismantled in the Russian city of St Petersburg after the man who succeeded him at the helm of the company came out as gay. The more than six-foot-high monument, in the shape of an iPhone, was erected outside a St. Petersburg college in January 2013 by a Russian group of companies called ZEFS.

Citing the need to abide by a law combating “gay propaganda,” ZEFS said in a statement on Monday that the memorial had been removed on Friday — the day after Apple CEO Tim Cook penned a piece about being gay. “In Russia, gay propaganda and other sexual perversions among minors are prohibited by law,” ZEFS said, noting that the memorial had been “in an area of direct access for young students and scholars.”

“After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy, the monument was taken down to abide to the Russian federal law protecting children from information promoting denial of traditional family values,” ZEFS statement said.

This is bigotry that rises to the level of absolute derangement.

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  • colnago80

    I wonder if the gay bashers are going to call for a boycott of Apple?

  • Augustus Carp

    And no more Tschaikovsky soon…….?

  • Modusoperandi

    They have to banish themselves. After all, “gay propaganda is prohibited by law” itself contains “gay propaganda”.

  • richardelguru

    Though I did read somewhere that the monument might have been removed before the Tim Cook announcement.

    I wish I could remember where…

  • John Pieret

    Wouldn’t be funny if all the iPhones and iPads in Russia suddenly melted? … Not that I think Apple has an app for that!

  • busterggi

    What memorial to Steve Jobs? There was never a memorial to Steve Jobs, just look at these photoshopped pictures.

  • otrame

    @5 Actually, I think it would be funny if all the iPhones and iPads in Russia suddenly locked down. I’m not in favor of vandalism, really, but thinking about that one gives me a small grin to compensate for despairing at how ridiculous people supposedly the same species as I am can be.

  • zenlike

    After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy,

    I must have missed that call. You would think something like that would be front-page news.

  • dhall

    Funny how the ad preceding that clip was for Microsoft . . .

  • John Pieret

    I’m beginning to think this may have been a sly protest against the anti-gay laws. According to this article:

    The iPhone monument may have already been slated for renovation. And this statement seems a [cough] little over the top:

    “Now, when it’s clear that iPhones are more dangerous than cigarettes or drugs, when in addition to its technology this brand becomes a symbol for sodomistic sin, reasonable people in the world will start rejecting Apple products en masse,” he said.

    … especially when iPhones are apparently popular among young tech-savvy Russians.

    On the other hand, he also mentioned Snowdon’s revelations of NSA spying on iPhones, but that came out before the company erected the monument in the first place.

    It could be a clever way to mock both the laws and the government without them being able to do anything about it.

  • DaveL

    You would think something like that would be front-page news.

    You’d think it would at least make the local Society section. You can hardly have the CEO of Apple throw an orgy and not cover it at all.

  • colnago80

    Well Ted Cruz says he loves his Iphone and he ain’t going to give it up.

  • dingojack

    SLC – Well, as long as Teddy’s iPhone isn’t the same sex as him….

    :) Dingo

  • congenital cynic

    Tim Cook coming out? WTF? I read an article about two years ago about him being the most powerful gay man in the world. How is Tim Cook being gay news? Must not have been as worthy of going viral as the cat videos coming out at the same time.

    Whether it’s a spoof or not, Russia is in retrograde. They have to get that ex-KGB wingnut Putin out of power. He’s trying to dial it back to the cold war era.

    In the grand scheme of things, the world seems pretty fucked up right now on far too many fronts.

  • joyfulatheist

    Apple should take the free U2 album from every Russian iphone. Checkmate Russia!

  • dingojack

    Having re-read the article, I’m with John Pieret — I suspect it’s a subtle dig at the Russian Homophobic Laws done in such a way as the government doesn’t quite know whether it’s being poed or not. The Russians have had almost a century’s experience at mocking the government through poes (there was no other way, and there still is no other way). And look how widely it’s been reported to the world’s press (and just in time for the G20 meeting too! Quelle damage!) 😀


  • Loqi

    I guess they’ll have to burn the works of Gogol now too. Shame.