2019 Cultural News from Back in the USSR
Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 8.1.2019
In support of Russia’s LGBTQ community, two male members of the German heavy metal group kissed in front of a massive crowd in Moscow. Under a so-called gay propaganda law, the kiss could be considered illegal.
During a concert Monday night in Moscow, Rammstein guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe kissed onstage in front of a crowd of 81,000 at Luschniki stadium, Russia’s largest football stadium.
The band then posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook with the caption, “Russia, we love you.”
The gesture from the German heavy metal band was in defiance of Russia’s “gay propaganda” law, which makes it illegal to display or promote “non-traditional sexual relations.” The law was passed in 2013, ostensibly to protect minors.
Attacks against members of the LGBTQ+ community are a regular occurrence in Russia. Perpetrators are rarely prosecuted, according to human rights activists.
The kiss in Moscow was not the first time the band members have smooched while performing their song “Ausländer” (foreigner), nor was it the first sign of support for the LGBT community from Rammstein during their current tour.
Read more: Rammstein: Sons of East German punk
At a concert last week in Chorzow, Poland, Rammstein drummer Christoph Schneider was hoisted above the crowd in an inflatable raft waving a rainbow pride flag.