Autoheart launches "Moscow" protest against Russia's antigay laws

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      The upbeat and infectious single"Moscow" from London-based indie pop band Autoheart may not sound like a political protest.

      But in this case, the simple expression of love is in fact a protest.

      But the music video and an explanation from the band delineate the criticism the band is directing towards Russia's antigay legislation.

      In June, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law that will punish people (of any sexual orientation) with deportation, fines, or imprisonment for "gay propaganda", or any attempts to express equality between gay and straight people.

      In the video for Autoheart's "Moscow", an attraction that develops between two Russian soldiers culminates in a same-sex kiss in front of the Kremlin.

      Here's what the band had to say about the song (from the album Punch, which is being digitally released internationally on July 15) and video:

      Moscow is a song about the daft optimism of being in love, when you just want to run away with that person, dream about being together forever, the house, the dog, and nothing else matters.
      It has long been one of our favourite tracks—and for us, it has more relevance now than ever.
      We are lucky in Britain to have laws that mean whether we are gay, straight, bisexual or anything in between, our relationships are recognised and our rights protected by law. But in Russia there is an anti-gay crisis happening right now: their government does not want to afford their people those same rights and are trying to criminalise even the discussion of gay equality.
      Something similar happened in Britain not long ago: Section 28, brought in by Thatcher's Tory party in the Eighties to stop teachers from talking about same-sex relationships in a positive way, was only repealed in 2003.
      These laws only serve to protect intolerance, ignorance, homophobia and hate crimes.
      In our video, two gay Russian soldiers kiss in front of the Kremlin—yet just last month same a group of same-sex couples in Moscow were violently attacked and then arrested for doing just this.
      If you didn't know this was happening, go online, and read about it.
      Show your support and love to the LGBT communities of Russia and their friends, who are faced daily with violence and the criminalisation of love and of freedom of expression, in every possible way that you can and sign this petition
      Wouldn't it be amazing if one day everyone all consenting adults could be free to love who they want to without fear of persecution?

      News of the Russian legislation has received widespread international condemnation and reaction.

      Russian activists are calling for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and are warning LGBT athletes that they are not safe in the country.

      Oscar-winning actor Tilda Swinton, who has frequently worked with queer cinema director Derek Jarman, daringly posed for a photograph in front of the Kremlin holding up the gay rainbow flag. 

      On July 15, Reykjavik mayor Jón Gnarr, who has long been an advocate for gay rights, has proposed that the Icelandic capital city should sever ties with Moscow, which is its sister city. Iceland had the world's first openly lesbian head of government, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, who recently retired from her position as prime minister in May.