Here at the Bilerico Project we've spent a lot of time covering the frightening consequences of Russia's draconian and barbaric crackdown on the basic rights of LGBT people, especially in the months since President Vladimir Putin signed that country's infamous ban on "gay propaganda."
But this story out of Russia this week highlights a different aspect of that law: its absurdity. From the Moscow Times:
Chelyabinsk region prosecutors have responded to a request from a concerned citizen about whether a lamppost painted in rainbow colors in the city of Magnitogorsk could be legally considered gay "propaganda," assuring the person that the lamp was not violating the law.
"The sequence of colors on the lamppost does not constitute propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors and does not carry any harm to children and their development," the prosecutors said in their response [emphasis mine].
The citizen, Yevgeny Dubrovsky, claims that he's not a homophobe, but that he filed the request to "see how the law works in practice."
Magnitogorsk is located in west-central Russia on the border of Europe and Asia, and the lamppost in question (pictured above) sits on a bridge over the Ural River on the spot where the continents meet. Attached to it is a sign informing travelers that they are leaving Europe and entering Asia. Local authorities say the lamppost was painted yellow, pink, green, blue, and purple as part of a recently-adopted rebranding scheme for the city.
So rest easy, Russians: only certain rainbow-colored inanimate objects are gay. Pride flag? Totally gay. Rainbow-colored lamppost? Decidedly not gay.
Because that makes sense, right?
Photo via Gayrussia.eu