To Russia, with love: Montreal protests anti-gay laws with Kiss-In
Montrealers will be holding a protest this afternoon against Russia's recent crackdown on gay rights - and seal it with a kiss.
Montreal is among over 50 cities around the world taking part in a Global Kiss-In to protest the country’s oppressive stance on gay rights leading up to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
Organizer Christian Sicotte Généreux said it was important to be part of what he calls a movement to build momentum designed to draw attention to the situation in Russia before it hosts the Winter Olympics.
"It's unbelievable that in 2013 that a country that is actually going to host the Olympic Games will actually adopt those types of laws, those laws against the gay community in Russia," Généreux said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently tabled laws forbidding same-sex couples from adopting Russian children and banning gay propaganda. Protests have prompted the Russian government to arrest dozens of activists.
Généreux said after seeing cities such as Athens, London, Paris and Tokyo sign on for the global protest, he decided to organize one in Montreal, saying they have to help in building up the pressure.
"We never know, with pressure from all around the world, he might actually decide not to pass that law. So let's see."
Généreux said the Kiss-In is a very powerful way to send the message and to bring people together. A bigger global protest is set for October 11, National Coming Out Day.
The Montreal Global Kiss-In takes place at 3655 Avenue du Musée, the Russian Consulate at 3 p.m.