Russian government accuses FIFA 17 of pushing “gay propaganda”


Members of Russia’s parliament have submitted a complaint to the state’s communications oversight and consumer protection agencies, alleging that FIFA 17’s recent free rainbow-coloured gear campaign was in violation of the country’s (controversial) 2013 “gay propaganda” laws. According to a report in the local Izvestia newspaper, the game “invites users to support the English football Premier League’s Rainbow Laces action, a massive campaign in support of LGBT”, and that’s a big no-no in the Motherland where traditional, heteronormative, super butch masculinity is about riding shirtless on horses.

The UK LGBT rights advocate group Stonewall launched the Rainbow Laces campaign last month as an effort to challenge homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in football, and FIFA 17 publisher EA did its own part by launching free rainbow-coloured gear for players for a limited time.

But because FIFA 17 is rated for all ages, Russia’s government is very, very, very worried that exposure to this sort of subversive rainbow-coloured stuff could cause “harm to children’s health and development”. Which a legislation proposal that introduces fines or even jail time for openly gay people totally doesn’t.

“Every state has its internal laws and order; they need to be obeyed,” United Russia party MP Irina Rodnina told Izvestia, and relevant authorities should “verify the possibility of distributing this game on the territory of the Russian Federation”. Communist party MP Valery Rashkin added that game developer EA Canada should “introduce changes to the programming code or the age classification of this information product, and if it refuses, adopt corresponding restrictive measures”.

Hmm. Suppression of dissident thoughtcrime. Where have I heard that one before?

Via The Guardian.