Rainbow flag flies high over Europe in defiance of Russian laws

Keith Tomlinson

Keith Tomlinson

First published in News

A GAY-RIGHTS campaigner climbed the highest mountain in Europe to fly a rainbow flag from its peak.

Keith Tomlinson, 29, from Evelyn Terrace, Brighton, said he wanted to raise awareness of LGBT people in a mark of defiance of the Russian anti-gay laws.

When asked why he wanted to climb the 5,642m peak of Mt Elbrus in the western Caucasus mountain range, he said he “wanted to do something cheeky” while raising money for a LGBT equality charity.

He said: “I am gay and I don’t care about your silly laws, I am me”.

LGBT rights in Russia have been a contentious issue since new laws were brought in by Putin’s government in 2013.

Russian legislation bans the promotion of what is considered the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations. This piece of law has effectively made it illegal to be openly homosexual.

Mr Tomlinson said: “I hid the rainbow flag at the bottom of my sleeping bag just in case.”

He is raising money for Stonewall, an LGBT equality charity based in the UK but that is trying to bring about equality to LBGT people across the world.

Each year between 15 and 30 people die attempting to climb Mt Elbrus – and Mr Tomlinson’s ascent did not go hitch free.

At one point during the climb a member of the team slipped and fell, dragging the rest of the mountain expedition five metres before they could regain their footing.

On his seven and a half hour final ascent temperatures dropped to minus 20C and the wind reached speeds of up to 20mph.

Mr Tomlinson said: “It took us ten days to acclimatise to the altitude. The final ascent to the peak was a very long day.”

Mr Tomlinson’s first mountain climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in 2011 and he has indicated he is planning an expedition to the Himalayas in the future.

He completed his latest challenge last month but it is not too late to donate.

To donate Money to the charity Stonewall, that Mr Tomlinson climbed the mountain in aid of visit www.justgiving.com/rainbow summit.

You can also follow Mr Tomlinson’s accounts of the climb and further charitable efforts on twitter at @rainbowsumit1

Comments (7)

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4:06pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Fred'smate says...

*whispers*

Homosexuality isn't a crime in Russia.
*whispers* Homosexuality isn't a crime in Russia. Fred'smate
  • Score: -7

4:54pm Tue 2 Sep 14

leftysmellbags says...

Then he got rogered by a yeti on the way down.
Then he got rogered by a yeti on the way down. leftysmellbags
  • Score: -5

6:38pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Cave Johnson says...

How much did he raise? Not as much as the cost of the trip i reckon.
How much did he raise? Not as much as the cost of the trip i reckon. Cave Johnson
  • Score: -8

11:51pm Tue 2 Sep 14

Nellie's Grandson says...

The above three comments are beyond derision. Well done Keith you are more of a man than the above three will ever be.
The above three comments are beyond derision. Well done Keith you are more of a man than the above three will ever be. Nellie's Grandson
  • Score: 5

7:27am Wed 3 Sep 14

Valentinian says...

You never know the strength of the people!
You never know the strength of the people! Valentinian
  • Score: -1

8:07am Wed 3 Sep 14

Valentinian says...

Going up is dangerous, as any of his type will tell you, but it is when going down that most accidents and deaths occur...although he looks like a very experienced practitioner at both.......
Going up is dangerous, as any of his type will tell you, but it is when going down that most accidents and deaths occur...although he looks like a very experienced practitioner at both....... Valentinian
  • Score: -2

1:20pm Wed 3 Sep 14

her professional says...

Valentinian wrote:
Going up is dangerous, as any of his type will tell you, but it is when going down that most accidents and deaths occur...although he looks like a very experienced practitioner at both.......
You remind me of the old nudge nudge sketch "Have you ever, you know, done it with a lady? Err, what's it like?"
[quote][p][bold]Valentinian[/bold] wrote: Going up is dangerous, as any of his type will tell you, but it is when going down that most accidents and deaths occur...although he looks like a very experienced practitioner at both.......[/p][/quote]You remind me of the old nudge nudge sketch "Have you ever, you know, done it with a lady? Err, what's it like?" her professional
  • Score: 1
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