NYC Pride and M&C Saatchi New York are teaming up to say Nyet! to the recently passed laws in Russia that limit LGBTQ rights.
On virtualpride.org, the virtual parade will march through a Google Maps Street View of Moscow in exact step with the New York parade, making Pride NYC a march not just for New York, but for LGBTQ rights in Moscow and other parts of the world as well.
Using a custom-built geolocation app, the progress of the NYC Pride parade will be updated instantly to the site, making sure that each step in New York is reflected with a step forward in the live-webcast virtual parade in Moscow on June 30th, 2013 at 12PM EST.
M&C Saatchi is aggregating tweets of support with the hashtag #virtualpride. These tweets will appear in voice-bubbles on-screen along the route’s sidelines, allowing users to “virtually” attend as stand-ins for actual spectators. As new tweets are posted, background tweets move to the front in step with the parade. Users are encouraged to go to virtualpride.org now and preload their #virtualpride tweet for the live event to ensure the streets of Moscow are as packed as those in NYC.
With the #virtualpride parade, M&C Saatchi has created a simple solution to a human rights and LGBTQ global community issue. “We’re using our right to march to mean something for those who don’t have this basic human right,” said M&C Saatchi New York Chief Creative Officer Pierre Lipton. “And we hope our effort brings a lot of attention to the issue.”
M&C Saatchi CEO Jeff Brooks added: “Any time an agency can use its creativity to affect positive change in the world, that’s a great thing.”
Chris Frederick, Managing Director of Heritage of Pride NY, said: “We got really excited when we saw this idea. Being able to use our event to illuminate a major global issue is huge, especially when we have such a large contingency of Russians within our own local community.”
The NYC Pride parade will be 2.02 miles, starting at 36th St. and Fifth Ave. and ending at Christopher and Greenwich Streets. M&C Saatchi will be marching alongside the RUSA-LGBT group (the Russian Speaking LGBT Association) supporting a screen live-streaming the #virtualpride march. The virtual route in Moscow will also be 2.02 miles, starting on Prechistenka Street and ending in Red Square. The parade will pass several famous landmarks, including The Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Saint Basil’s Cathedral. And in its wake the parade will leave the scenes in Moscow’s Street View painted with rainbows and other symbols of Pride as a statement that, just as LGBTQ communities are everywhere, their fundamental rights should be everywhere too.
In Russia, LGBTQ rights have been under attack for some time. Since 2006, ten regions have enacted a ban on so-called "propaganda of homosexuality among minors." There are no laws protecting against discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Same-sex marriages and civil unions are illegal. And Russia is considering banning citizens of countries that allow same-sex marriage from adopting Russian children.
In June 2012, Moscow courts enacted a hundred-year ban on gay pride parades (until 2112). In May of this year, the courts upheld the ban, saying that parades could “undermine a campaign to instill patriotic values in the city’s youths.” The decision was issued just days after a 23-year-old man was killed in a savage homophobic attack in the city of Volgograd in southern Russia.
Then, this past month, Russia’s Parliament voted 436-0 (with one abstention) to pass a law that bans LGBTQ events or public discussion and prohibits individuals from providing information and/or educational materials to minors about the homosexuality.
These acts have been condemned by a number of human rights groups across the world, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
About NYC Pride:
NYC Pride works toward a future without discrimination where all people have equal rights under the law. We do this by producing LGBT Pride events that inspire, educate, commemorate and celebrate our diverse community.
For more information regarding NYC Pride and our 2013 roster of events, please visit nycpride.org.
RUSA LGBT is a group for Russian-Speaking American LGBTQ community, for everyone who supports equality and is interested in Russian language. RUSA LGBT was formed in 2008. RUSA LGBT regularly organizes cultural and social events to unite Russian-speaking LGBTQ people in America and to raise tolerance towards LGBTQ people within the Russian‐speaking community.
For more information please contact RUSA LGBT at www.rusalgbt.com.
About M&C Saatchi New York:
M&C Saatchi New York is the most recent addition to the world’s largest independent agency network, which was created 18 years ago on the founding principle of Brutal Simplicity of Thought™. Launched this past spring, the NY office is currently 40+ people with capabilities spanning brand strategy, advertising, social and mobile media, event marketing and public relations. Current NY clients include General Electric, Pernod Ricard, Reebok, UGG, Reckitt Benckiser, The USOC and The National Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.