NYC “Kiss-In” Protests Anti-LGBT Violence In Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, And Tajikistan

Activist groups Voices4 and RUSA LGBT organized the rally.

A non-violent rally and “kiss-in” was held this afternoon to protest queer purges and increasing anti-LGBT persecution in Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan.

Spearheaded by grassroots activist organization Voices4 in partnership with RUSA LGBT, a group for Russian-speaking American LGBT people and their allies, protestors braved the rain to pucker up near the Consulate General of Uzbekistan.

A Voices4 representative explains that the governments of these former Soviet republics “must be held accountable for their unjust and inhumane policies,” adding that the “kiss-in” serves as a “defiant counterpoint to the oppression faced by the global queer community.”

Human rights groups have suggested that the anti-gay purge in Chechnya has emboldened homophobes in other nearby majority-Muslim countries.

A gay couple in Uzbekistan was arrested and tortured by police in December for having sex in their own apartment.

In Azerbaijan, ranked the worst place in Europe for LGBT people, more than 100 LGBT people were reportedly detained and humiliated last year.

Meanwhile, Tajikistan authorities have launched an official registry of gay citizens who will reportedly be required to undergo mandatory STI testing.

See more video from today’s rally below.

#kiss2resist @voices4_

A post shared by Paul Iacono (@psychedelichedonism) on

For more information and to learn how you can join the fight, visit Voices4 and RUSA LGBT.

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