To the surprise of nobody, Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party were less than pleased with the global embrace of the gay pride rainbow flag after the U.S Supreme Court ruling which legalised same-sex marriage.
Their response? Putin and chums decided to introduce a “straight” flag.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, but Putin introduced a law in 2013 that bans symbols which promote “non-traditional” values.
So, to fight back against the LGBT movement’s flag, the United Russia Party unveiled a banner celebrating the so-called traditional, nuclear Russian family. The flag depicts two parents – a woman and a man – holding hands with three children.
It was unveiled at a party rally in Moscow’s Sokolniki park on the Day of Family, Love and Fidelity, an annual country-wide celebration held on July 8. The flag was launched alongside the hashtag #realfamily.
Speaking to the Izvestia newspaper, Andrei Lisovenko, deputy head of the United Russia branch in Moscow, said:
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 our country. We are speaking of the traditional family. We mean the average standard Russian family that is ours: mother, father and three children.
And, naturally, some people on social media decided to have some fun at Putin and his ignorant pals’ expense…
Erk. Russia's Straight Family Pride flag…I mean, statistically speaking one of those kids is probably gay… pic.twitter.com/mFLmUxp0OZ
— Chris Jones (@ChrisJonesGeek) July 8, 2015
Moscow branch of Putin’s United Russia party creates 'straight pride' flag. GIVE ME ALL FACES AND ALL THE PALMS pic.twitter.com/h2roJeFRAe
— Felicity Morse (@FelicityMorse) July 8, 2015
— euronews (@euronews) July 9, 2015
A Stonewall spokesperson added:
A #realfamily is not determined by sexual orientation or gender identity, but love. That sentiment is certainly missing from this flag as is, in our opinion, a splash more colour. It’s also another example of how much work we still have left to do to combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes and behaviours.