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Russian politician demands ban on Tom of Finland-stamped mail

Saint Petersburg councillor Vitaly Milonov has demanded a ban on mail sent from Finland using the Finnish Post Office’s recently-issued Tom of Finland stamps. The anti-gay councillor also asked that Finns refrain from using the stamps on letters to Russia.

Tom of Finland -postimerkkiarkki.
Image: Itella Posti Oy

A Russian politician who introduced one of the country’s first statutes banning ’gay propaganda’ has called on the Russian Post office to stop delivering mail that features homo-erotic Finnish stamps.

The stamps feature muscular, masculine, homo-erotic artwork by Touko Laaksonen, who worked under the Tom of Finland name. They include a man in military uniform with a naked model between his legs, and a pert male posterior with a male admirer.

Saint Petersburg politician Vitaly Milonov says the stamps contravene Russia’s law against gay propaganda, a national anti-gay statute that followed local regulations Milonov had introduced in his city.

Now Milonov has also asked Finns to refrain from using the stamps on mail bound for Russia. Yle tested the Russian Post Office when the stamps were first issued, sending packages to Yle correspondents in Russia. Three of those parcels made it through and reached their recipients, with one still somewhere in the Russian postal system.

The new stamps have been a popular design. There were queues when they first went on sale, with the range quickly becoming the biggest-selling stamp in Finnish history.

Milonov represents President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, and has gained a national profile after several deeply conservative proposals including banning both abortion and the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution.

In recent months he has been most active in criticising the Ukrainian government and supporting the independence of eastern Ukraine under the leadership of pro-Russian separatists.

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