German rock bank Rammstein is in Russia at the moment for a promotional tour of their self-titled album, and as if there needed to be more hype for their visit, they’ve gone ahead and made a huge political statement during their Moscow concert. Two of the band’s guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe, deliberately exchanged an on-stage kiss in protest of the country’s condemned anti-LGBTQ laws. You can view their gesture of love at the 4:55 mark in the video we’ve posted below.
The law in question, which Rammstein dissented against, was passed by President Vladamir Putin in 2013, and has been labelled ‘gay propaganda’ worldwide. It bans materials that present ‘distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships.’ This effectively renders it illegal to express any kind of homosexuality and gender-non-conformity in public.
It’s not the law that’s creating problems for the LGBTQ community in Russia, it’s also the conservative mind set that often results in severe consequences for those who choose to oppose it. Around a month back, Yelena Grigoryeva, a prominent LGBTQ activist was murdered after her name appeared on a website that encourages readers to hunt, kidnap and murder a list of LGBTQ+ people.
This law doesn’t leave foreigners immune to it, if you’re wondering. Under it, they can be arrested and detained for a maximum of 15 days before being deported. It’s not sure at the moment, whether members of Rammstein will be facing any such consequences, but they look set to perform their next show in St. Petersburg this Friday. And the fact that the news has received international attention will definitely put the authorities in question on the back foot.
Following their second gig in Russia, Rammstein will continue their tour with shows lined up in Latvia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Austria.