Russian Orthodox activists hope to ban Facebook over same-sex marriage icons

orthodox church

Activists, calling the icons “gay propaganda,” have collected 34,000 signatures for their petition to ban Facebook.

Hard-line religious activists in Russia are apparently deeply offended by Facebook’s new same-sex marriage icons and want the social network banned from the country.

Russian Orthodox activists in the southern city of Saratov are outraged with the icons, claiming they are “gay propaganda,” and have told Facebook to stop “flirting with sodomites.” The group sent Facebook a 24-hour ultimatum to the site’s offices in Russia, which Facebook has reportedly ignored it, according to news service RussiaToday.

Undeterred, the activists have threatened to sue Internet service providers who provide access to Facebook. They’ve also begun a signature-signing campaign to reinstate a 1993 law that banned homosexuality. According to an Orthodox leader, the campaign has logged 34,000 signatures in three days. They hope to collect at least one million signatures and present the petition to the Russian parliament.

Facebook “openly popularizes homosexuality among minors,” according to orthodox activist Vladmiry Roslyakovsky, who is spearheading the campaign. He added that the movement has gained support from Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic members.

Roslyakovsky said the same-sex marriage icons could influence minors to turn gay because “the U.S. goal is that Russians stop having children. [They want] the great nation to turn into likeness of Sodom and Gomorrah.” He told a Saratov news organization that he is “confident that Russian laws and reasonable citizens will be able to protect their children from a fierce attack of sodomites.”

A pro-LGBT activist told Gay Star News that the activist’s controversy-baiting comments is to “attract attention” because using gay topics in a negative light is a “very simple way to get popularity in Russia.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Facebook for comment but did not receive a response by time of publication.

Photo by Wonderlane/Flickr

Jordan Valinsky

Jordan Valinsky

A former editorial operations specialist and staff writer for the Daily Dot, Jordan Valinsky is a tech reporter and web culture commentator. His work has been published by the Week, Digiday, CNNMoney, Popular Mechanics, Vice, Mic, and Betabeat.