June 08, 2018

Is it safe to wear rainbow symbols and hold hands with someone of the same sex?

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5 months, 1 week ago

The exact list of what is taboo under Russia’s infamous gay propaganda law, introduced country-wide in 2013, is vague. The 2018 World Cup organizing committee has stated that same-sex couples will be allowed to kiss and hold hands in stadiums and Fan Fest areas. However, past experience suggests that when it comes to Russia, it is better to be cautious and avoid obvious public displays of affection. The FARE network, which deals with racism and discrimination in football, recommends foreign fans not to hold hands in Russian cities. There are also alarming reports coming from southern Russia that cossacks will be tasked to report same-sex couples kissing to the police. The bottom line: while the organizing committee has given a green light to the LGBT community, be subtle in how you show affection in order to avoid conflict with officials and occasional unflattering comments from locals.