A Russian Duma deputy has accused Apple
of promoting “gay propaganda” to minors.
Last September, Apple gave away more
than 500 million copies of U2's Songs
of Innocence. The album was automatically downloaded to
the accounts of iTunes users worldwide as a gift.
The album cover features a shirtless
Larry Mullen Jr., the band's drummer, embracing his 18-year-old son,
Elvis, who is also shirtless. The band has said that the image
represents “how holding on to your own innocence is a lot harder
than holding on to someone else's.”
Alexander Starovoitov, a member of the
conservative LDPR Party, argues that the cover image promotes sex
“Just like many citizens of the
Russian Federation, I am an iPhone owner,” Starovoitov is quoted as
saying by Russian daily Izvestia.
“In 2014, tracks by U2 were uploaded in a viral way to my Music
folder in iTunes, with the album cover featuring what I believe to be
two men engaged in a manifestation of non-traditional sexual
Anti-gay sentiment runs high in Russia,
where lawmakers two years ago outlawed public discussions of LGBT
issues to minors, labeling it “propaganda.”
Apples faces fines of up to 1 million
rubles (nearly $20,000) if convicted of violating the law.