Russian Women’s Relay Team Makes Out On Podium At World Championships In Moscow, Kind Of Protesting Anti-Gay Laws

  • Jake O'Donnell

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Good morning, America! Here’s what you missed while you were fast asleep:

Via Slate: Two female Russian athletes kissed on the winners podium to protest Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, reports Sky News. Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova kissed after they helped their team win the 4 x 400 meter relay at the World Athletics Championship in Moscow on Saturday. While Sky News seems certain that the kiss was a political statement, others aren’t so sure. Gay Star News says it is “unclear” whether the kiss was merely a sign of affection or whether the athletes were “blatantly defying Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ laws since neither of the athletes have released a statement.” Regardless, the kiss could land the athletes in legal trouble considering it expressly goes against the much-criticized law that bans anything that may be seen as a promotion of homosexuality.

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This moment (coming on the heels of Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva’s comments condemning homosexuality), whether an outright protest of the nation’s disposition on the topic or simply two hot babes casually kissing on live TV, might open the door for other similar, bold, sexy displays of sexy dissent. To be honest, even if it does end up just being a casual kiss between two liberated European women, it’s the best any public representative from the embattled country has done so far to rebrand themselves as mildly tolerant. And based on comments by the chairman of Moscow’s 2013 Organizing Committee, Vitaly Mutko, such a rebranding will certainly not be coming from any appointed Russian official any time soon.

Via Sky News: “I think this is kind of an invented problem,” he said. “We don’t have a law banning non-traditional sexual relations, we have a different law. It is the informational protection of the young generation. We want to prevent the young generation, whose psyche has not been formulated. We want to protect them against drunkenness, drugs and non-traditional sexual relations. We want them to grow up and when they become adults they have to define what they want.”