100 LGBT Activists Set Out for Russia's ‘City Without Gays’

March 17, 2017 — 18:30
— Update: Mar. 17 2017 — 15:28

100 LGBT Activists Set Out for Russia's ‘City Without Gays’

March 17, 2017 — 18:30
— Update: Mar. 17 2017 — 15:28
AP Photo / Dmitry Lovetsky

Svetogorsk, Russia’s “city without gays,” is about to get a visit from 100 LGBT rights activists, according to the local news site 47news.ru.

The group hopes to stage two rallies, one in favor of legalizing samesex marriages, and another to protest remarks earlier this month by the city’s mayor, who declared Svetogorsk “gay-free,” following a scandal involving a local grocery store near a school selling bread apparently baked in the shape of penises.

Demonstrators plan to protest outside the mayor’s office.

Earlier this month, four LGBT activists visited Svetogorsk and took selfies around the city, in an effort to debunk Mayor Sergei Davydov’s claim that the city has no gays. In one photograph, the group posed in front of a colorful pedestal. Days later, city workers dismantled and removed the pedestal. Officials later said the demolition was planned weeks before.