Bulat Barantayev and Aleksei Korolyov are the first openly gay men to run for office in Russia’s legislature, the Duma, in modern history. Both candidates are LGBT+ activists and hope to serve as an example for other LGBT+ Russians.
In 2013, Russia passed a law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships” to minors. Since then, it has grown more dangerous to be publicly LGBT+ in the country. While both candidates concede they have little chance of winning, they believe it is an important step forward for the LGBT+ community.