Ikea removes lesbian couple from its Russian catalogs

The mega-retailer says it preemptively removed the couple to comply with Russia's ban on "gay propaganda"

Published November 25, 2013 10:06PM (EST)

    (Wikimedia Commons)
(Wikimedia Commons)

Ikea -- which is pretty progressive in terms of its representation of the furniture-buying public but is also a very large corporation that puts horse meat in its meatballs because it is cheap and possibly spies on its employees in the interest of discouraging union activity -- has edited a lesbian couple out of the Russian edition of its catalog in order to comply with the country's vague but terrible law banning "gay propaganda."

Last year, Ikea airbrushed all of the women out of its catalogs in Saudi Arabia.

More from the Guardian:

The December issue of the magazine, which will be distributed in most countries in which Ikea operates, contains a long feature about the lives of Clara and Kirsty, a Dorset-based lesbian couple and their Ikea-filled interiors. "We're two mums bringing up our baby boy in Clara's loft," says Kirsty in the story. "We're not your average family in your average home, but if my nan can raise two sons in a tiny caravan, we can make it work in our little loft."

Russian Ikea shoppers, however, will be shielded from information about the lives of the two British lesbians, in case it is deemed to fall foul of the country's controversial new law banning "homosexual propaganda".

A spokeswoman for Ikea confirmed to Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper that the article had been changed over fears it could fall foul of Russia's gay propaganda laws. "That's the reason why Russia has another article," she said. "We have two guiding principles in the communication we distribute from Ikea. The first is home interior design. The second is following the law."


By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Gay Propaganda Gay Rights Ikea Lgbt Rights Russia