Two weeks after the US Supreme Court ruled to uphold the legality of same-sex marriage across the US, Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party has unveiled a ‘straight flag’ to champion conservative values that rival gay pride.
The image, an explicit plug for heterosexuality, was on display for the first time yesterday (July 8) at the annual Day of Family, Love and Fidelity, an event organized by the Russian government that takes place in cities and towns across the country to boost traditional family values. The holiday, instituted in 2008 under former Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, aimed to boost the country’s fertility rate and advocate for stable, two-parent households.
The hashtag emblazoned across the new flag, #НастоящаяCемья (or ”real family”) features the silhouettes of a man, a woman, and three children.
Alexey Lisovenko, Moscow’s United Russia leader, told national news outlet Izvestia (via Newsweek) that the flag is “our reply to same-sex marriage, that corruption of the concept of family. We must to warn against gay fever in our country and support traditional values.”
“We must to warn against gay fever in our country and support traditional values,” Lisovenko said.
The flag, produced in the three colors of the Russian flag, was officially unveiled at a “traditional values march” in Moscow, where roughly 1,000 Russian families were invited to attend by United Russia.
Homosexuality has been legal in Russia since 1993, though the Russian parliament passed an anti-gay propaganda law in 2013 that bans promoting “homosexual behavior among minors.”
French social advocacy group La Manif Pour Tous, which opposes same-sex marriage, champions a similar flag, albeit with one fewer child.
In response to the Russian flag, same-sex marriage supporters on social media have given it a new spin: