23 October 2015

"Real Family" Flag Spreads its Wings to Russia

Real Family Flag
For the celebration of its annual “Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness” last July, Russia’s ruling party has found inspiration in an odd place: an anti-gay-marriage flag in France.

The new Russian logo shows a mother, father and three children holding hands, and it looks a lot like the logo used by La Manif Pour Tous, a French movement that opposes same-sex marriage. It was plastered all over at a festival in a Moscow park called "Real Family," a gathering organized by Vladimir Putin’s political party, United Russia.

The hashtag "#RealFamily" in Russian, the official slogan for the "Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness" this year, spiked on July 5, with almost 2,000 tweets, and it has been used almost 5,000 times since then, according to Topsy. The hashtag was tweeted mostly by supporters of the movement to weed gays out of Russian society.

The deputy chief of Moscow’s United Russia office, Alexei Lisovenko, told RIA Novosti that United Russia deliberately took the French movement’s logo with their permission, only United Russia added another child to it to depict that a “real Russian family” is large. The flag “is our answer to same-sex marriage,” Lisovenko said. “We must prevent the gay fever from spreading in our country, and we have to support traditional values,” he added.

The Russian government has been cracking down on homosexuality in a burst of conservatism in the past few years. Putin signed a law banning “gay propaganda” in 2013, and that law is often used to legitimize censoring gay activist media and the firings of dozens of gay professionals from their jobs.