Rammstein Protest Russian Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws With Onstage Kiss
While performing in Moscow, two members of Rammstein locked lips.
While performing at the Luzhniki Stadium, guitarists Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe traded Rammstein's usual pyrotechnics to create sparks of a different kind.
During the song "Ausländer" from their self-titled 2019 album, the Rammstein members exchanged a brief kiss. The sneaky pash was in protest of Russia's widespread anti-LGBTQ+ "propaganda" laws.
The laws were introduced in 2013 and were officially "for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values".
When the laws were introduced there was widespread condemnation from international communities, however, surveys of the Russian population saw overwhelming support for Putin's attempts to silence Russia's LGBTQ+ population.
The Elton John biopic 'Rocketman' was heavily edited under the law to remove mentions of John's sexuality. John and the filmmakers released a statement saying they "reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor 'Rocketman' for the Russian market".
"That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people," the statement continued.
Rammstein's protest also comes just weeks after Russian LGBTQ+ activist Yelena Grigoryeva was murdered in St Petersberg.
The prominent 41-year-old activist was found dead, her body left in bushes near her home with multiple stab wounds and signs of strangulation.
Grigoryeva is not the first Russian activist to killed. According to friends she had also been concerned for her safety after her details were listed on a site that organises a "hunt for homosexual, bisexual and transgender people".
Grigoryeva posted an alert about the site on her Facebook just three days before she was killed.
According to the RBC media portal, St Petersberg authorities confirmed Grigoryeva had reported threats made to her -- repeatedly -- but they said the threats didn't seem like a risk to her life.
There has been no confirmation yet as to if Rammstein will be penalised under the laws, however, foreigners can be detained up to 15 days before being deported, or fined up to 5,000 rubles then deported.
The band captioned a photo of the kiss in Russian, "Russia, we love you!"
Their tour continues with another show in St Petersburg on August 2.
Featured image: Instagram @jenskochphoto.