According to Russia Today, Russian Orthodox activists have demand a nationwide ban on Facebook as the social networking website recently enabled same-sex couples to use an gay marriage icon to represent their union.
Last month the popular social networking site introduced same-sex marriage status icons: one depicting two brides, the other two grooms.
Russian religious activists claim that this amounts to ‘gay propaganda’ which is legally banned in St Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Arkhangelsk. Ryazan, Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, and Samara.
The campaign was initially launched by the Orthodox community in the Russian city of Saratov, southern Russia, which issued a 24 hour ultimatum to Facebook to stop ‘flirting with sodomites’ and remove all content promoting homosexuality. The demand that was sent by fax threatened that if it is not met, services which provide access to Facebook will be sued.
When the ultimatum was ignored the activists started collecting signatures to reinstate the old Soviet law against homosexuality that was decriminalised in 1993.
Orthodox leader, Valdimiry Roslyakovsky said that that the campaign has already 34,000 signature in just three days and was aiming to collect a million signatures from all faiths. This will then be submitted as a petition to the Duma parliament demanding that ‘Facebook should be blocked in the entire country because it openly popularizes homosexuality among minors’.
Roslyakovsky further alleged that the Facebook’s alleged promotion of homosexuality is a American lead conspiracy so ‘that Russians stop having children. [They want] the great nation to turn into likeness of Sodom and Gomorrah’.
In addition he has already sent a request to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office asking it to research Facebook’s alleged promotion of homosexuality.
This year, legislatures of several Russian regions introduced a law against ‘gay propaganda to minors’ punishable by hefty fines. Some politicians in Russia have called for a similar nationwide law to be legislated.
Speaking with Gay Star News Yury Gavirkov, a St Petersberg LGBT rights advocate said: ‘I think it is a statement to attract attention, using gay topics with negative interpretation is a very simple way to get popularity in Russia.
‘For sure Facebook will ignore such demands. Facebook is living in the 21st century, but Russia is only in the 20th.
‘We have in Russia the similar social networking site, VKontakte.ru and last year the owners moved it to the global domain VK.com to avoid any problems with conservative Russian laws.’