Heavy Metal Band Defies Russia’s Anti-LGBTQ Law With Onstage Lip Lock

Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers of Rammstein (photo: Jens Koch)

Two members of the German heavy metal band Rammstein shared an onstage kiss in defiance of Russia’s anti-LGBTQ policies during their concert at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow Tuesday night.

While performing their song “Aüslander,” which means “foreigner” in German, guitarists Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers slowly walked towards each other. After briefly catching each other’s eyes, they leaned in for a quick kiss.

And the crowd goes wild!

The kiss took place just days after a prominent LGBTQ activist was found murdered in St. Petersburg.

The band posted a photo of the kiss by photographer Jens Koch on their Instagram account with the caption, “Russia, we love you.”

A post shared by Rammstein (@rammsteinofficial) on Jul 30, 2019 at 10:23am PDT

Since the band was formed in 1994, Rammstein has scored two Grammy nominations, six number-one albums on German and European music charts, and had dozens of Top Ten singles across Europe.

While the kiss itself was a quick peck, it’s clear the bold moment was inspired by Russia’s 2013 ‘gay propaganda’ law which bans promoting “non-traditional sexual relationships” to young people.

The passage of the legislation has increased hostile pressures on LGBTQ people in Russia.

In 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled the law “had reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia.”

Foreigners found to have violated the law may be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($78) and deported, or detained for up to 15 days before being deported.

Rammstein is well-known not only for spectacular stage shows but also for standing up for LGBTQ rights while on tour.

The Washington Post notes that just last week, during a concert in Chorzów, Poland, the band waved rainbow Pride flags while crowd surfing in inflatable rafts.

Photographer Jens Koch snapped the moment and shared it to her Instagram with the caption, “Wow, this means a lot to me. My favorite band standing up for equal rights in Poland this week. #LIFAD#lgbtqpoland#lgbti#rammstein

Here’s a video of the kiss that rocked Russia:

News Round-Up: July 29, 2019

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: Broadway hottie Jim Newman (above) finds he has his Fire Island pool all to himself with no one to play with his beach ball. I’m sure he’d have no problem finding company… 🙂

• NewNowNext: A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of Russian LGBTQ activist Elena Grigoryeva. Officials do not intend to pursue hate crime charges, claiming the murder was not motivated by her activist work, nor her bisexual identity.

• Instinct: In its series finale, Andi Mack served up Disney’s first gay couple.

Gr8erDays: If you love entertainment/pop culture info from days gone by, follow this Instagram account for daily infograms about celebrity birthdays and more from TV, movies and more.

Politico: Kamala Harris on Monday unveiled a plan to achieve universal health care coverage by growing Medicare with the help of private insurers, an effort that splits the difference with her chief Democratic presidential rivals and equips the California senator with her own signature health care proposal ahead of this week’s debates.

Roanoke Times: A small number of Republicans tried to have Rep. Denver Riggleman censured for having the nerve to officiate a same-sex wedding for two of his supporters. p.s. The attempt failed…

Out Music: Kelechi drops his latest bop, “Forever Tonight,” with an upbeat 1980s vibe complete with fat beats and pop/soul roots. I’m hearing a little Human League groove in there perhaps…?

“I make romance pop music,” Kelechi recently told Out.com. “I want people to fall in love with the feeling they get when they listen.”

I have to say I like the simple approach to the video. Lately, I find overly-complicated music videos can get in the way of listening/enjoying the music.

Russian Authorities Remove Adopted Children From Gay Dads

(stock photo of two dads and son via Depositphotos)

After two dads in Russia took one of their adopted children to a Moscow hospital for treatment, doctors notified Russian authorities and the children have now been taken from the couple.

Gay Star News reports that the men took the child to the emergency room on June 19 for a suspected case of appendicitis.

But when hospital staff realized the boy had two dads, they were reported to the Investigative Committee of Russia.

Adoption by gay couples isn’t allowed in Russia. One of the men legally adopted the two boys, now aged 12 and 14, back in 2010 as a single parent.

The committee ruled the adoption violated the country’s 2013 ‘gay propaganda’ law which prohibits any positive portrayal of LGBTQ people in the media. The government says the law is necessary to protect children from ‘unconventional’ identities.

“A man has been raising two young adopted boys since 2010 in living conditions with another man,” read the committee’s report. “At the same time, he promotes unconventional relations, forming distorted ideas about family values in children, harming their health, moral, and spiritual development.”

In making its determination, the committee ordered authorities to remove the children from their home of nine years.

After multiple attempts to search the family’s home, investigators broke down the doors of the men’s apartment. One of the fathers was interrogated for more than three hours.

The committee also sued the social workers who approved the adoption charging them with negligence.

The social workers were accused of not taking “appropriate measures to protect minors from information harmful to their health and development.”

But, according to the men’s lawyers, the adoption agency had made regular visits over the years to check on the boys’ welfare. The reports filed following visits indicated the children were well and under excellent care.

Gay Star News quotes an LGBTQ activist named Polina who shared that a psychologist who assessed the family found no evidence of abuse, reporting “a healthy and close emotional connection between parents and children.”

Polina notes that this is the first time the ‘gay propaganda’ law has been used to remove children from a family home.

Report: Trump Took Interpreter’s Notes After Private Meeting With Russian President

Trump called into Fox News last night during the Judge Jeanine show.   Jeanine Pirro, referencing the recent New York Times report that indicates the FBI became concerned whether Trump was acting on Russia's behalf after firing FBI director James Comey, asked Trump point blank “are you now or have you ever worked for Russia.”

According to a new report by The Washington Post, Donald Trump took his interpreter’s notes after a one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin and told the translator not to reveal what had transpired to other officials in his own administration.

President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson.

The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries.

As a result, U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.

Bolding is mine.

The result of Trump’s actions is there are no records of his five face-to-face discussions with Putin.

In related news, Trump called into Fox News last night during the Judge Jeanine show.

Jeanine Pirro, referencing the recent New York Times report that indicates the FBI became concerned whether Trump was acting on Russia’s behalf after firing FBI director James Comey, asked Trump point blank “are you now or have you ever worked for Russia?”

Trump never directly answered the question, but responded with, “I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked.”

Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To Lying To Congress About Trump/Russia Deal

Former Donald Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen

Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty this morning in a New York court to lying to Congress regarding a Moscow real estate project that Trump and his company pursued during the months he was running for president.

Trump repeatedly said during the 2016 campaign he had no deals, interests or financial ties in or to Russia.

From The Washington Post:

In a nine-page filing, prosecutors laid out a litany of lies that Cohen admitted he told to congressional lawmakers about the Moscow project — an attempt, Cohen said, to minimize links between the proposed development and Trump as his presidential bid was taking off.

Cohen falsely said efforts to build a Trump-branded tower in Moscow ended in January 2016, when in fact discussions continued through that year, the filing said. Among the people Cohen briefed on the status of the project was Trump himself, on more than three occasions, according to the document.

Trump has repeatedly said that he had no business dealings in Russia, tweeting in July 2016, “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia” and telling reporters in January 2017 that he had no deals there because he had “stayed away.”

Tom Winter of NBC News was in the court room and reports on what Cohen testified to:

Trump immediately told reporters that he could have pursued the deal in Russia and there would have been nothing wrong with that, but he didn’t.

He went on to say the man who was his personal lawyer for years and years is “a weak person.”

Trump has suddenly decided to cancel meetings with Russian President Putin at the G20 summit. Coincidence? Or just avoiding bad optics?

One more thing – don’t forget this email from Felix Sater to Michael Cohen in 2015 saying, “Buddy, our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it.”

Trump Reverses Course (Again) On Putin Proposal

Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Putin (R)

During the Donald Trump/Vladimir Putin press conference on Monday, Trump praised Putin’s ‘offer’ to allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team to travel to Russia to ‘observe’ interrogations of the 12 indicted Russian military officers as ‘incredible.’

In exchange, however, Putin wants to question Americans including our former Ambassador to Russia who was critical of the Russian president.

Danger Will Robinson, danger.

Via Politico:

Trump called the idea an “incredible offer” during the news conference. And on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the president would “meet with his team” on Putin’s proposal, setting off a Russia-related backlash against the Trump administration for the third straight day.

By Thursday, as the Senate prepared to formally rebuke Trump, the White House reversed course.

“It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it,” Sanders said in a statement. “Hopefully President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt.”

The Senate voted 98-0 for a resolution denouncing the idea that we would hand over our foreign diplomats, past or present, to Russian agents for interrogation.

By the way, a new poll by SurveyMonkey shows 79% of Republicans approve of how Trump handled the Monday press conference.

Compare that with 91% of Democrats who disapproved and 62% of Independents who disapproved.

Overall, the numbers fell pretty much in line with Trump’s usually polling – 58% disapproved and 40% approved.

Hillary Clinton Asks ‘What Team’ Donald Trump Plays For

After Donald Trump's disastrous press conference where he sided with Russia rather than the United States regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton wondered on Twitter which team Trump plays for....?
Hillary Clinton

As Donald Trump headed into his much-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton tweeted congrats to the World Cup finals players as well as a question for her former presidential campaign rival.

“Do you know which team you play for?” she tweeted.

Monday evening following the summit, Clinton followed-up: “Well, now we know.”

Trump received broad criticism from Democrats and Republicans for his feckless comments about Putin and the US intelligence assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

LGBTQ Activists Put Pride Flag On Parade Hidden In Plain Sight – “The Hidden Flag”

LGBT activists are parading the banned rainbow flag around Russia during the World Cup by hiding the flag in plain sight

Since Russia has a ban on ‘gay propaganda’ – which would include even a simple rainbow flag – these LGBTQ activists have undertaken a subversive mission to share the colors of pride.

Calling themselves ‘The Hidden Flag,’ they are proudly parading our Pride colors around Russia in plain sight.

Clever, kids, clever 🙂

From the official website:

We have taken advantage of the fact the country is hosting the World Cup at the same time as Pride Month, to denounce their behaviour and take the rainbow flag to the streets of Russia.

Yes, in the plain light of day, in front of the Russian authorities, Russian society and the whole world, we wave the flag with pride.

How? In a way that no one would ever suspect. Football shirts.

Spain, The Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. Six countries. Six brave LGBT activists, that together, form the flag that toured around iconic sites in Russia, traveling to every corner to fight against a struggle that will never be silenced.

In a scary moment, one member of the group was detained at the airport as he was leaving Russia. But after 15 hours, he was allowed to continue home.

Mateo Fernandez told Gay Star News, “When we were doing it, I was scared shitless.”

But added, “It was completely worth it.”

Head over to the Hidden Flag website for lots more photos.

Trump Lies About “Winning” Court Case Against ‘Democrat Crazies’

Donald Trump lied on Twitter again saying he "won" a lawsuit proving his campaign didn't collude with Russians on the 2016 presidential campaign. In reality, the case was dismissed for being in the wrong jurisdiction.
Donald Trump

Donald Trump took to Twitter today to, yet again, lie and contort facts.

In his post, the Trumpster seems to be gloating that he “Just won lawsuit filed by the DNC and a bunch of Democrat crazies trying to claim the Trump Campaign (and others), colluded with Russia.”

“They haven’t figured out that this was an excuse for them losing the election,” he added.

Now, there was a court case filed against Trump, but that’s about the only nugget of truth in his tweet.

The case was not brought by the Democratic National Committee but by two DNC donors and a former staffer.

The trio allege that Trump’s 2016 campaign conspired with Russian agents and WikiLeaks to publish emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee.

Trump didn’t ‘win’ the case, it was dismissed by federal Judge Ellen Huvelle on the grounds that, in her opinion, the case belonged not in federal court but in New York state courts where alleged meetings between campaign staffers and Russian agents are said to have taken place.

The judge pointedly wrote that her ruling was “not based on a finding that there was no collusion between defendants and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.”

Donald Trump Sides With Russia On 2016 Election Interference

Donald Trump continues to believe Vladimir Putin's assertion that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 elections
Donald Trump

Donald Trump sided with Russia yet again today via Twitter when the president tweeted, “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!”

The Trumpster then immediately pivoted to – what else? – email servers and Hillary Clinton.

He continued, “Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t Shady James Comey and the now disgraced FBI agents take and closely examine it? Why isn’t Hillary/Russia being looked at? So many questions, so much corruption!”

Every law enforcement agency in the United States from the CIA to the FBI has confirmed that Russia did, indeed, interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

But Trump’s ego is so fragile any and everything that might take away from his election is seen as a threat.

Meanwhile, those same agencies tell us Russia plans to again meddle in our upcoming mid-term elections, but Trump hasn’t asked anyone to do anything about stopping the Russian interference.