UK
09/09/2013 06:52 BST | Updated 09/09/2013 07:22 BST

Kissing Rallies Staged Across The World Against Russian Anti-Gay Legislation

Protesters locked-lips across the world yesterday to protest against Russia’s recent crackdown on the LGBT community.

The global kiss-in – in cities including Vancouver, New York City, Washington DC, Paris, Athens, Barcelona and Helsinki – was dubbed “To Russia With Love.”

People also defiantly puckered up at the Russian Consulate in Montreal in the wake of recent laws enacted in Russia, which could restrict members of the LGBT community.

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Protesters kiss during a demonstration in front of the Russian embassy in Paris

The controversial law bans so-called "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" and imposes fines on those who stage gay pride rallies.

As athletes around the world prepare for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, kiss-in organisers have said they hope the rallies will pressure the International Olympic Committee and local governments to call on Russian President Vladimir Putin to “stop the human rights violations of LGBTQ people.”

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Protesters rallied against Russia's controversial anti-gay legislation

“A kiss is a beautiful sign of love, so it goes against exactly what’s happening in Russia,” Kat Coric, who helped organise the Montreal protest, told AP.

However, Russia says it has no intention of changing the law despite the international condemnation.