Cosmetics company Lush are to campaign over the general discrimination and oppression gay people face due to laws enforced in Russia.
The campaign, running from January 27th to February 14th, showcases the fact that Lush “believe that love is an essential human right,” and focuses on the fact that the Russian Government have failed to support those within the LGBTQ community and brought in new laws discriminating those who have same sex relations in Russia including an amended child protection law fining those who give information about homosexuality to those under the age of 18 anything from 4000 roubles (£78) to 1m roubles (£18,127).
The law, brought in last year, states that it is now illegal to:
“Distribute information among minors that 1) is aimed at the creating of non-traditional sexual attitudes, 2) makes non-traditional sexual relations attractive, 3) equates the social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relations, or 4) creates an interest in non-traditional sexual relations.”
As well as a fine, breaking this law could also mean imprisonment as well as suspension of operations if you are a business or organisation.
The campaign, whilst taking part in stores, will also be partaken through the medium of social media with participants, regardless of sexuality, taking a photo with the pink ‘Sign of Love’ triangle and the hashtag #SignofLove uploaded to: http://www.pinterest.com/lushlimited/signoflove or any other social media site such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and will be taken to every Russian Federation in the world on Valentine’s Day as part of a ONE LUSH event. There is also the option to write a message as to why you believe in love for everyone.
The movement ‘All Out,’ made up two organisations – Purpose Action and Purpose Foundation, is also getting involved, with part of the proceeds of the campaign going to them. Purpose Action focus on policy changing whilst Purpose Foundation focuses on education and changing culture. With almost 2 million people joining the movement worldwide, it is a sign that change is needed and wanted. In 76 countries it is a crime to be part of the LGBT community with only 14 countries worldwide enforcing marriage equality. Countries where being LGBTQ is illegal include Singapore, Kuwait, Lebanon and Qatar.
The last week of the ‘Sign of Love’ campaign also covers the first week of the Winter Olympics, running from February 7th to February 23rd, which ironically stands for equality and the strength of humanity, and will also feature gay athletes. Talking in Sochi, where the Olympics will be held, Russian President Putin said that, “We don’t have a ban on non-traditional sexual relations… We have a ban on promoting homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.”
With Lush being a worldwide company, with varying LGBTQ laws depending on the country, the campaigning cosmetics company aims to change discriminatory LGBTQ laws not only in Russia but worldwide.
Whilst homosexuality and the LGBTQ community are accepted by many countries such as Belgium , France, the Netherlands and the UK, issues still exist such as the startling fact that every 16 hours a trans* person is murdered as well as anti-gay marches in France and ‘corrective rape’ of lesbians in South Africa.
Russia has had a worldwide media backlash with growing pressure for the laws to be reversed, something that is one of Lush’s main aims with the campaign. With the campaign, Lush and All Out hope to not only change Russian minds in terms of LGBTQ equality but the world as a whole. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a camera and maybe you can help change the world.