If you're wondering why you've never heard of Putin Airlines, that's because it doesn't exist.
But that didn't stop the Gay Women Channel from making a satirical in-flight safety video highlighting Russia's newest batch of anti-gay laws. The group is behind the popular "Gay Women Will Marry Your Boyfriends" and created the video to help support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights and equality.
The video starts off innocently enough welcoming Sochi-bound passengers onboard the aircraft and kindly asks everyone to buckle up and to keep trays in the up-right position. The video then asks passengers with small children to "not spread homosexual propaganda or let them know that gays and lesbians exist." Failure to comply will result in passengers to "be cuffed."
There are more requests involving passengers to not hold hands with someone of the same sex, pride rainbow flags and even a joke about taking the back-door exit. While the video's tongue-in-cheek humour may make you laugh, its goal is to spread awareness to Russia's anti-gay laws which went into effect last June.
Earlier this month, Skift News discovered that the new laws contained a provision that now applies to foreign tourists visiting Russia. The provision allows the Russian government to detain gay or pro-gay foreigners for up to two weeks before deporting them from the country. Actions that could get travellers in trouble include "gay-affirmative" speech, displaying a rainbow flag and same-sex partners holding hands, notes Travel and Escape.
On Monday, four Dutch tourists became the first travellers to be arrested under Russia's "gay propaganda law" after they were accused of spreading information about homosexuals to children. Reports suggest the four tourists were in the city of Murmansk to make a documentary about the city's gay community there when they were detained and jailed by police under the new law.
The country's latest laws have drawn international condemnation and scrutiny as Russia gears up to host the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
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