Stockholm Pride, which recently won both the gold and People’s Choice award at the Lovie Awards for their viral campaign #GoWest, have sent the prize statuette, a golden heart, to Russian President Vladimir Putin with the inscription: “To a man with a heart of stone, here’s a heart of gold.”
- This is a tribute to all LGBTQ activits in Russia, and all the organizations and people in the world co-operating with and supporting the Russian LGBTQ movement, says Peter Rimsby, President of Stockholm Pride.
Stockholm Pride launched the campaign on Twitter and the campaign site gowest2013.com in May 2013 to highlight the situation of the LGBTQ population in Russia. With the support from celebrities such as Boy George, Darren Hayes from Savage Garden, Canadian indie pop group Tegan and Sara, and Nicole Fiorentino from Smashing Pumpkins, the campaign quickly went viral becoming top news in international media.
In June 2012, a Moscow court rejects the petition from LGBTQ activist Nikolai Aleksejevs to celebrate Pride in the capital of Russia from 2012 to 2112. In May 2013, the same month as the campaign launch, dozens of LGBTQ activists are arrested in Moscow while protesting against the court's ruling on banning the celebration of Pride in Moscow. In the same month, a young man is found brutally murdered in Volvograd, raped with glass bottles and with his genitals slashed. A hate crime committed because he is homosexual. In June 2013, the Russian Duma unanimously adopts, and President Vladimir Putin signs,a nationwide law banning distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" among minors.