Russian Lawmakers Urge Sberbank to Remove Rainbow Unicorn from Kids' Bank Cards Over ‘LGBT Symbols’ 

1 week ago 3

Russian lawmakers have called on the country’s largest lender Sberbank to remove a rainbow-colored unicorn from its bank cards for kids, saying that “rainbow symbols” are an attribute of the “international LGBT movement.”

In an appeal to Sberbank head German Gref, the lower-house State Duma’s Family, Women and Children Committee said that it had received messages from parents who were “outraged” by the cards.

“We ask you, dear German Oskarovich, to take into account the opinion of parents and deputies of our committee on preventing violations of Russian legislation and to halt the issuance of the Children’s SberCard with the rainbow unicorn’ — a symbol of the LGBT movement,” the state-run TASS news agency cited the committee’s letter as saying.

Sberbank issues cards for children aged 6 to 13 with seven different designs, including the rainbow unicorn. 

Russia’s Supreme Court designated the “international LGBT movement,” which does not formally exist, as a banned “extremist” organization in November 2023.

Civil rights and LGBTQ+ activists told The Moscow Times the “extremist” designation could allow the authorities to prosecute anyone who has associated with LGBTQ+ lifestyles or symbols in public.

In February, a woman in the central Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod was arrested for five days for wearing rainbow earrings. The court — which pointed to the Supreme Court’s ruling — found the woman guilty of publicly displaying symbols of an “extremist” organization, a misdemeanor offense.

The ruling was handed down one day after a photographer went on trial in the southwestern city of Saratov for showing the rainbow flag in a photo on Instagram.

Last year, the popular Russian television channel TNT Music removed a rainbow featured in a K-pop music video over concerns that it could violate the country’s ban on “LGBT propaganda.”

And when the channel aired the music video for the boy band Seventeen’s hit song “God of Music,” a rainbow featured in the original video was transformed into a gray cloud.

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