Head over to Mother Jones to check out these photos of gay activists in Russia by Danish photographer Mads Nissen.
Here’s Ilmira Shayhraznova and Elena Yakovleva, who, along with four other gay couples, attempted to file marriage applications at the St. Petersburg municipal office to protest the country’s “gay propaganda” law. Since the law was passed last summer, there’s been an uptick in anti-gay violence, but–no doubt aided by the increased scrutiny thanks to the Sochi Olympics–the activists also say it’s helped the cause. ”Before, it wasn’t accepted to talk about this,” activist Yana Petrova said. “Now, there are no neutral people left. Everyone wants to express their opinion. That’s good. Debate is the only thing that can lead to any battle or change.”
Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.