Swedish activists deploy ‘gay propaganda’ defense system against lurking Russian subs
The animated subsurface neon sign was recently installed off the coast of Stockholm by the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS). Submarines in the vicinity of the so-called “Singing Sailor” are welcomed by morse-coded message and captions that state in English and in Russian: “Welcome to Sweden. Gay since 1944,” in reference to the year Sweden legalized homosexuality.
Last October, Sweden scrambled over 200 troops, helicopters and ships on a week-long search for a suspected Russian submarine in the Stockholm archipelago. Since then, the Nordic country decided to invest 10.2 billion kronor ($111.9 million) in its defenses. But the NGO apparently believes their “gay propaganda” defense system being much cheaper is equally effective.
SPAS says that the Singing Sailor is part of its contribution to an ongoing hot debate on shifting the country's “military resources into development and rethinking security.”
“The purpose of the Operation The Singing Sailor is to urge the Swedish government to think in new ways instead of falling back on territorial defense, conscription and rearmament – the world doesn’t need more weapons,” SPAS said in the press release.
One of the world’s oldest peace organization that prides itself with being associated with winning the Nobel Peace Prize, simply says that “in times of unrest, love and peace across boundaries is more important than ever.”
The carefully crafted welcoming sign with a caption in Russian was apparently developed around common misconception of Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda” ban introduced back in 2013. The law received a negative resonance in the press and has been widely been debated abroad ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The general image of foreign news outlets centered around the perception of “homophobic” Russia.
In reality, the new law was designed to protect children from abuse and has nothing to do with punishing people for being homosexual. The legislation prohibiting “propaganda of homosexuality to minors” became an amendment to the law “on protecting children from information harmful to their health and development”.
In addition the Swedish activists’ device was designed as invitation for the Stockholm Pride Parade on August 1. “We want to break-up with the violence. Our invitation is also extended to Swedish subs and military personnel and all others that want to join us,” said communications and fundraising manager Daniel Holking.