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.
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