Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers of Rammstein kiss onstage in Moscow (photo: Jens Koch)
Two members of the German heavy metal band Rammstein shared an onstage kiss in defiance of Russia’s anti-LGBTQ policies during their concert at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow Tuesday night.
While performing their song “Aüslander,” which means “foreigner” in German, guitarists Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers slowly walked towards each other. After briefly catching each other’s eyes, they leaned in for a quick kiss.
And the crowd goes wild!
The kiss took place just days after a prominent LGBTQ activist was found murdered in St. Petersburg.
The band posted a photo of the kiss by photographer Jens Koch on their Instagram account with the caption, “Russia, we love you.”
Since the band was formed in 1994, Rammstein has scored two Grammy nominations, six number-one albums on German and European music charts, and had dozens of Top Ten singles across Europe.
While the kiss itself was a quick peck, it’s clear the bold moment was inspired by Russia’s 2013 ‘gay propaganda’ law which bans promoting “non-traditional sexual relationships” to young people. Foreigners found to have violated the law may be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($78) and deported, or detained for up to 15 days before being deported.
The passage of the legislation has increased hostile pressures on LGBTQ people in Russia.
In 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled the law “had reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia.”
Rammstein is well-known not only for spectacular stage shows but also for standing up for LGBTQ rights while on tour.
The Washington Post notes that just last week, during a concert in Chorzów, Poland, the band waved rainbow Pride flags while crowd surfing in inflatable rafts.
Photographer Jens Koch snapped the moment and shared it to her Instagram with the caption, “Wow, this means a lot to me. My favorite band standing up for equal rights in Poland this week. #LIFAD #lgbtqpoland #lgbti #rammstein”
Here’s a video of the kiss that rocked Russia: