An anti-gay Russian lawmaker is taking issue with the new commemorative stamps that honor seminal gay artist Tom of Finland, calling the stamps gay "propaganda," Pink Star News reports.
Vitaly Milonov, who has long stood against LGBT rights in Russia and co-signed St. Petersburg anti-gay "propaganda law," is calling for officials from Russia's postal service to issue a return-to-sender of any mail that has a Tom of Finland stamp on it.
"They are basically elements of homosexual propaganda, which is banned in our country," Milonov told TASS news agency. "I ask the leadership of Russian Post to pay close attention to this request. In addition, I urge the Finns themselves, our close neighbors, to refrain from using these stamps when sending letters to Russia."
The lawmaker isn't alone in his hate for the stamps. It was reported in April an online petition with more than 2,300 signatures called for the Finnish postal service Itella cut off plans to publish the Tom of Finland, born Touko Laaksonen, stamps.
"We don't want Finland to be represented on homeland and international shipping with homoerotic themes. Traditionally stamps have shown themes that are aesthetically beautiful and culturally valuable. Strong homoerotic theme in stamps is not either," the petition read in part.
Despite the petition, the stamps have been an international success. Last month it was reported that the commemorative stamps have been preordered by people in 178 countries, breaking sales records for Finland's post service. The biggest orders came from Sweden, Britain, the U.S., and France.
Milonov has long been looking to take down Russia's LGBT community. In April it was reported the lawmaker said he wanted to ban all gay clubs, bars and LGBT social media pages, saying they are "destroying Russia" and must be stopped in order to "rid the country of evil."
Just last month Milonov allegedly stormed and LGBT festival in St. Petersburg with a group of anti-gay activists, leaving at least 16 people hospitalized.