Russian LGBT family from Vkusvill ad leaves country after death threats

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08/04/2021

MOSCOW, Aug 4 (Reuters) – A Russian family with gay members that featured in an advert for a high-end food retailer has left the country after receiving hateful homophobic messages online including death threats. Footage published by journalist and YouTuber Karen Shainyan showed the family, in which the mother, Yuma, and her adult daughter, Alina, both have female partners, boarding a flight and leaving the country. Shainyan, who discusses LGBT issues on his channel, said he had agreed to broadcast an interview with the family only once they were outside Russia. A 2013 Russian law, decried by Western countries as state-enforced bigotry, bans the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors”. Many politicians from the ruling party are stridently anti-gay. Food retailer Vkusvill’s advert pictured the four women from the family in a kitchen, and said they liked the shop’s Japanese rice balls with mushrooms and its humus. It initially appeared with an “18+” warning indicating it should not be read by children.

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