The political party in charge of Russia’s policies, institutions, and laws has unveiled a new symbol that promotes what they view as “traditional” ideals and criticizes gay marriage for eroding family values.
United Russia created the “Flag for Straights” in order to have a symbol in their ongoing campaign against the LGBT community that continues to gain momentum in their quest for same sex marriage legalization. According to RT.com, the flag features a husband, wife, and three children holding hands with the Russian colors of white, blue, and red in the background. Noting the influential presence of social media, the caption reads “#realfamily” in Russian.
The flag was officially presented at the nation’s Day of Family, Love and Fidelity on July 8, where crowds gathered to support their view of a traditional marriage and family. Andrei Lisovenko, the deputy head of the party’s branch in Moscow, told Izvestia, a Russian newspaper, that the new flag is actually in response to the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same sex marriage in the United States.
“This is our response to same-sex marriage, to this mockery of the concept of the family. We have to warn against gay-fever at home and support traditional values in this country,” Lisovenko said.
Just last month, Lisovenko sent a letter to Russian parliament requesting that the government ban the usage and showcasing of the LGBT community’s rainbow flag from any news sources, websites, or social media posts.
The Russian flag has come under controversy for allegedly plagiarizing from a similar flag from an anti-LGBT group in France. The Manif Pour Tous movement in neighboring France features a husband, wife, one son, and one daughter all holding hands.
The Moscow Times notes that homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, but laws banning “nontraditional” couples, marriages, or sexual relations passed in June 2013. According to a poll, 37 percent of Russian citizens believe that homosexuality is a disease that can be cured.