LGBTQ equality advocates are demanding officials in Gaston County reverse their decision to remove a photo showing two men recently engaged, kissing, from a museum exhibit. The photograph shows Justin Colasacco and his husband Bren Hipp kissing after Colasacco dropped to one knee and proposed in front of the crowd at the 2019 Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade. They married Oct. 4, 2020. County Manager Kim Eagle told Gaston County Museum staff to have the photographer submit a replacement picture “that would be more considerate of differing viewpoints in the community.”
Russian official Dmitry Alushkin, the press attaché for the Russian embassy has announced that the “authorized” official government bodies of the Russian Federation, in cooperation with the government of the Chechen Republic, have investigated the claims made by journalist Elena Milashina in her articles published in the Novaya Gazeta newspaper and in other Russian media outlets, dismissing any and all the allegations as merely of a gay concentration camp as “a propaganda campaign against Russia.”
“In the building—which in the past belonged to the military government (address: 99B Kadyrov Street, in the city of Argun) and called in the articles a ‘secret prison’—is a storeroom, while a parking lot is located on the nearby space.”
“There are no victims of persecution, threats or violence,” he adds. “Neither law enforcement authorities nor the [U.N.] Human Rights Council… have received complaints on this matter.”
also claims that the day after Novaya Gazeta published its first report, Alushkin claims, a Muslim council was convened in Grozny, drawing “6,000 residents and community elders.” Four days later, public figures, journalists and activists allegedly traveled to Argun to investigate for themselves.
Alushkin ended his report by saying “the Russian system of government is of a democratic nature,” and that people should rely “on objective and reliable data, not on rumors and speculation, to analyze the political developments in our country.