The Moscow branch of Vladimir Putin's United Russia party unveils a 'Straight Flag' to rival the prevalently used rainbow flag representing LGBT rights. Elly Park reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's ruling party unveiled a 'Straight Flag', in a bid to counteract the rainbow flag widely used as the symbol of gay pride and LGBT rights. The Moscow branch of the United Russia Party introduced the flag on the country's annual Day of Family, Love and Fidelity. It aims to honor the nuclear family and is not confrontational in any way, says the party's deputy head Andrey Lisovenko. SOUNDBITE: Deputy Head Of Moscow Branch Of United Russia Party, Andrey Lisovenko, saying (Russian) "We are speaking of the traditional family, you can see there are a lot of children here, many elderly, young people, people on bicycles and rollerblades. We mean the average, standard Russian family that is ours. As you saw illustrated in the logo - mother, father and three children." But according to Russian media Lisovenko has been campaigning to ban the use the rainbow flag within the country, including online and on social media. This flag, he says is a way for Russia to display its values to the rest of the world. SOUNDBITE: Deputy Head Of Moscow Branch Of United Russia Party, Andrey Lisovenko, saying (Russian) "These are our values, this is how we are and this is how we live and this is how we will live to continue as human species." While homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, a law introduced in 2013 bans symbols which promote "non-traditional" values. It sparked an outcry among Russian LGBT rights activists and in the West but is widely backed by many Russians.