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Gay rights have made huge steps these last few years with the latest win coming in the form of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage throughout the country. However, the fight for equal rights is still long from over in the rest of the world as many countries don’t recognize gay marriage or even open displays of homosexuality.

While parts of Japan are supporting equal rights, Russia, one of its neighbors to the northwest, has traditionally been against homosexuality since its days as the Soviet Union. And what about today? How do Russians feel about two men just walking down the street, holding hands? A Russian YouTube video seeks to answer these questions with a social experiment.

In many parts of the world, public displays of affection are acceptable to a certain point. In Japan, while kissing might seem too far for some people, no one will pay any attention if they see two people walking down the street holding hands. Even if the two people happen to be of the same sex, no one will blatantly express outrage at them for the public act. In Russia, however, two males or two females holding hands in public can make for some frightening situations.

ChebuRussiaTV set up a hidden camera to secretly film two men walking hand in hand down the street for a social experiment. They wanted to document the reaction that a same-sex couple would receive from the general public. The video begins fairly innocuously, as there are a few furtive glances at the couple, but no one seems too bothered by them. Unfortunately, some people can’t hold back their opinions and things start to get ugly. People throw abusive language at the couple, calling them names and telling them to leave Russia while others resort to outright physical abuse, bumping into them as they walk by. One person went so far as to walk right in between the two and then proceed to corner and physically intimidate them.

▼ Sure some people are giving them second glances, but that’s not so bad

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▼ Unfortunately, they have to watch out for guys like this man on the right

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▼ That’s not even their worst interaction as another guy forces the two of them apart

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The rhetoric from the Russian government is very clear. They will not tolerate demonstrations promoting gay rights anywhere in the country. Even outspoken celebrities like Lady Gaga, who have been friends to the gay rights movement, are banned from entering the country. And judging from this video, it seems some citizens take offense to two people of the same sex holding hands on the street. It’s an incredibly strict and controlling environment and one that is particularly stressful for gay Russians.

ChebuRussiaTV hopes to shine a light on the issues surrounding gay rights in their country and the reactions from the Internet have been supportive. Many people are astounded that this sort of thing happens in Russia, and have also expressed their wish to never visit the country due to the current treatment of the LGBT community. The only way things will change is for people to see that all humans deserve happiness and help shift the public opinion to the other side. Videos like this are certainly helping, but there is still a lot of work to be done. It might have been a “social experiment” in the video, but there are definitely some Russians who live their lives like this every day. For their sake and homosexuals around the world, we hope public opinion changes fast.

Source: YouTube/ChebuRussiaTV via My Game News Flash
Images: Youtube/ChebuRussiaTV