New East Digital Archive

Swedish activists install underwater “gay propaganda” neon sign to deter Russian submarines

Swedish activists install underwater "gay propaganda" neon sign to deter Russian submarines

13 May 2015

Swedish activists have created an underwater sign which sends out a message in Morse code reading “this way if you are gay”, in a bid to fend off unwelcome naval intrusions from Russia. The animated neon sign, which was installed off the coast of Stockholm earlier this week, shows a sailor clad in pants gyrating, with the words in Russian and English saying “Welcome to Sweden: Gay since 1944”, referring to the year Sweden legalised homosexuality.

The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS), a group dedicated to disarmament and democratisation, created The Singing Sailor campaign after the Swedish military was put on high alert following reports that Russian submarines had been sighted in Sweden’s waters. The message on the device refers to the law imposed in 2013 in Russia making the promotion of “gay propaganda” to minors a criminal offence.

“If there is a submarine down there and there is a crew member who hears or sees the sailor, they are welcome to join us in the Pride Parade on 1 August in Stockholm,” Daniel Holking, head of SPAS’s fundraising and communications, said in a statement.