Sergey Kondrashov is a typical Russian male. He lives with his wife of sixteen years in Saint Petersburg, where he works as an attorney. He certainly isn’t any kind of an “activist;” in fact, his life is fairly ordinary.
Until last Sunday, that is. That’s when Sergey was arrested for spreading “gay propaganda.” His crime? He stood peacefully on a sidewalk, holding a sign expressing support for a family friend. Sergey’s sign read: “A dear family friend is lesbian. My wife and I love and respect her … and her family is just as equal as ours.”
Under the terms of Saint Petersburg’s newly-passed “gay propaganda” law, Kondrashov’s simple act of support for LGBT equality could earn him a fine or even a 15-day jail sentence. And if that weren’t bad enough, the Russian State Duma (the lower house of the Russian Parliament) is currently considering adopting a similar version of the “gay propaganda” law that would make it a federal crime to engage in “public activities that promote homosexuality as normal behavior” — like Sergey’s demonstration — and fine violators up to 500,000 rubles.
Sergey is calling on Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, himself a native of Saint Petersburg, to stop this unconstitutional federal law. He’s teamed up with AllOut.org on a petition to Prime Minister Putin, asking him to use his influence over the Russian political process to prevent the federal “gay propaganda law” from advancing and letting him know, in Kondrashov’s words, that “the whole world is watching.”
Please help Sergey and AllOut.org send a strong message to Vladimir Putin that anti-gay laws have no place in Russia or in any other civilized nation. Let’s help Putin and the Russian State Duma feel the eyes of the world on them. Remember, the LGBT community is a global one, and an attack on LGBTs in any country is an attack on us all. Head over to AllOut.org, sign Sergey Kondrashov’s petition, and share it with your friends and social networks.