Russia: Aeroflot forces a gay flight attendant to marry a woman
When pro-equality forces in the U.S. think about how far this country has to go to extend full civil equality to LGBTs here, it’s good to get a reality check of some of the more egregious nonsense that still goes on around the globe. Gay Star News (my emphasis below):
Gay activists in Russia are planning to ask air passengers to boycott Aeroflot, Russia’s leading airline and not to use its services until the creation of equal conditions for all workers.
The call comes following the revelation that gay flight attendant Maxim Kupreev was forced by his employers to enter into heterosexual marriage with his former high school girlfriend following his announcement last year to create an LGBT group within the company to fight for the protection of the rights of homosexual employees.
According to internal Aeroflot sources reported by GayRussia.eu, 25-year-old flight attendant Maxim Kupreev was given an ultimatum late last year to enter into heterosexual marriage or to lose his job. At the end of 2011 he married his school friend Sofia Mikhailova who got the right to fly Aeroflot for 10% of the fare – and other company privileges.
In order to register marriage with Kupreev, Mikhailova had to dissolve her real marriage to Grigoriy Andreykin. The divorce was finalised on 11 October last year.
The mere act of starting up an affinity organization within Aeroflot to work for employment discrimination was considered so incendiary that it had to be snuffed out in this absurd and demeaning manner. While this doesn’t rise to the level of repression that exists in, say, Uganda, Jamaica, or other nations where your mere existence as LGBT has been grounds for state-sponsored violence against citizens, the humiliation of forcing a person to enter a publicly acknowledged sham marriage to satisfy the homophobes among them — is disgusting.