New Yorkers protest homophobia by kissing in the rain

New Yorkers protest homophobia by kissing in the rain
Here, queer and visible — LGBTQ+ campaigners descended on Uzbekistan's consulate in New York City this weekend, to protest the country's state-sponsored homophobia and violence.

Uzbekistan’s consulate in New York is on 2nd Avenue, just a single block away from the world headquarters of the United Nations. It’s a geography that ordinarily makes sense – diplomats and politicians close by to the world’s foremost international organisation. But despite their proximity, there’s an uncomfortable reality being all too often ignored, according to the fifty or so people gathered in the rain on a Sunday afternoon at the consulate door.

Freelance Freelance

Organised by the RUSA LGBT and New York group “Voices 4” – a non-violent advocacy group committed to using direct action to achieve global queer liberation – campaigners held a rally and kiss in here this Sunday, hoping to draw attention to the state-sponsored violence against the LGBTQ+ communities of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. Each is a member of the United Nations.

In Uzbekistan, same sex relationships between two men can are punishable by up to three years in prison, although reports of abuse and violence are also commonplace. In Azerbaijan homosexuality isn’t criminalised, although when the state is rounding up queer and trans people, before imprisoning and fining them, it may as well be. It was only a few months ago that the authorities in Tajikistan – another country in Central Asia – drew up a register of 367 allegedly gay citizens, suggesting they’d be required to be tested to avoid “the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases”.

Freelance Freelance

Despite the downpour, members of the group made speeches, reading out testimonies from those who had escaped the violence and persecution in these countries. “The actions against LGBTQIA+ people taken by the Governments of these countries are violating all international human rights statutes, laws, and declarations, and the governments must be held accountable for their unjust and inhumane policies,” a spokesperson for Voices4 explains.

Once the speaking was over, it was time to pucker up – an unapologetic act of defiance on the doorstep of homophobia.

Photographer Andrew Lamberson headed along to join them.

Freelance Freelance Freelance Freelance Freelance Freelance Freelance Freelance Freelance Freelance

Enjoyed this article? Like Huck on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Latest on Huck

In photos: Three decades of Glastonbury Festival’s people and subcultures
Photography

In photos: Three decades of Glastonbury Festival’s people and subcultures

A new photobook explores the unique cultural experience and communal spirit found at the UK’s largest festival.

Written by: Isaac Muk

Surreal scenes from the streets of Tokyo
Photography

Surreal scenes from the streets of Tokyo

A new book by photographer Feng Li uses images of strange encounters to explore the historical centre of street photography.

Written by: Isaac Muk

Re-enchanted England: Exploring Paganism and Folklore
Culture

Re-enchanted England: Exploring Paganism and Folklore

A new book dives into the ancient traditions and rituals that many are turning to in an age of uncertainty, crisis and climate breakdown.

Written by: Thomas Andrei

Inside London’s Museum of Sex
Culture

Inside London’s Museum of Sex

For two days only a derelict house in south east London will become a hub of artwork exploring eroticism, sexuality, gender, and the body.

Written by: Brit Dawson

Why is Neil Diamond’s mega-hit ‘Sweet Caroline’ so intoxicating for sports fans?
Outdoors

Why is Neil Diamond’s mega-hit ‘Sweet Caroline’ so intoxicating for sports fans?

During this summer’s edition of the Euros, one certainty is the ubiquity of Diamond’s 1969 hit. But how and why did it gain such a storied place in England fans’ hearts? Jimmy McIntosh investigates.

Written by: Jimmy McIntosh

Can things only get better, again?
Election 2024

Can things only get better, again?

With the re-emergence of D:Ream’s euphoric 1993 hit and a ’97 style Labour landslide looking likely, Hannah Ewens dives deep into the creation of Cool Britannia, and asks experts whether it could be repeated again.

Written by: Hannah Ewens

Sign up to our newsletter

Issue 80: The Ziwe issue

Buy it now