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LGBT website accuses Expedition retail chain of anti-gay discrimination

Source: (info), 11/10/12 

· Sexual minorities 

The website has accused the Expedition tourism and outdoor goods retail chain of discriminating against homosexuals. The company had previously advertised for a new intake for the Expedition company’s academy. One of the conditions for applicants was that they be of a “traditional sexual orientation.” 

According to, the website of the academy, which was set up by the owners of the Expedition chain, the Ruyan company, an announcement was posted that the educational institution offers an “alternative and modern form of education.” The aim of the academy is to prepare “an entirely new breed of business leaders.” Other conditions for entrants to the academy are age (between 23 and 27 for men, 21 and 27 for women), knowledge of English, no serious health problems and no drug taking. 

The website, which publishes news about the LGBT community and tracks coverage on how LGBT issues are reported in the media, said that “in Russia’s recent history this is the first case of a company using sexual orientation as a discriminatory factor” and highlighting this requirement on its official website. The coordinator of the Novosibirsk-based GORD LGBT rights organisation Bulat Barantayev, in a comment posted on, has advised the LGBT community to boycott the Ruyan company and any brands it owns if they refuse to issue an official apology and remove the “disgraceful clause” from their website. 

The manager of Expedition’s academy Veronika Kuzenkova explained in a comment on that the requirement for applicants to be of a strictly traditional sexual orientation reflected the company’s values and ideology. “We believe that men should be men, and women should be women. We are also in favour of the population of our country increasing, in other words we are for healthy relationships,” Kuzenkova said. 

At the end of September there was a scandal of a different kind, when the St. Petersburg branch of the public organisation Narodny Sobor (People’s Council) accused the Vesyoly Molochnik (Happy Milkman) brand of homosexual propaganda. The organisation, which promotes the “conversion of Russia to the traditional spiritual and moral values of Russian civilisation,” was outraged by the six-coloured rainbow on the brand’s dairy products packaging. The rainbow without the colour blue is the international symbol of the LGBT community. Activists filed a complaint with the General Prosecutor and called for the purchase of Vesyoly Molochnik products to be boycotted.