Russia: Moscow Times features pro-gay Swedish fashion advertisement

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A Swedish fashion company has defied anti-gay “propaganda” laws in Russia by managing to feature a pro-gay advertisement in Moscow Times.

The advertisement, courtesy of Björn Borg, shows a stack of underwear arranged by colour to resemble the rainbow gay pride symbol.

Above the advertisement is a positive message showing solidarity for LGBT citizens in Russia, which reads simply: “Björn Borg says da.”

The company’s marketing director, Lina Söderqvist, told Adweek she hopes the advertisement will be seen by Russia’s lawmakers.

She said: “The advert is a way for us to reach Russian influencers. Björn Borg as a brand has always advocated equality on all levels.”

In a press statement, she added: “It is a human right to love and to make love to whoever you choose and we want to make a point of that through the advert in the Moscow Times today.”

RUSA LGBT, a Russian LGBT association in America, said it hopes others will also follow Björn Borg’s example.

Yelena Goltsman, RUSA LGBT founder and co-president, told GLAAD: “We welcome multiple methods of support and we invite all LGBT advocates to find ways, both inside and outside the country to stand in solidarity with LGBT Russians.”

President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Russian authorities are to stop the adoption of Russian children by all Swedish couples based on the legalisation of equal marriage in Sweden.