A Swedish peace group launched a gay-themed broadcasting device named "The Singing Sailor Underwater Defense System" into the Baltic Sea in an effort to keep intruders at bay, according to media reports Tuesday. The sonar system was launched by the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society (SPAS) as a peaceful method to discourage suspected Russian submarine incursions into Swedish seas.
The defense system is a small waterproof box with a neon sign that shows a topless sailor wearing a pair of briefs. The box transmits the words, "Welcome to Sweden. Gay since 1944. This way if you are gay," in Morse code to those entering Swedish waters, Sputnik News reported. While Sweden legalized homosexuality in the country 23 years before the U.K., being gay is still not an acceptable norm in the Russian society.
In 2012, the Russian Duma, or the lower house of parliament, passed a law that forbade the distribution of propaganda supporting "non-traditional sexual relationships," the Independent reported. A survey in 2013 found that 74 percent of Russians believed homosexuality should not be allowed in the society.
The method introduced by SPAS is expected to address the incursions into Swedish water, besides spreading a gay-friendly message.
"The purpose of the Operation The Singing Sailor is to urge the Swedish government to think in new ways instead of falling back on territorial defense, conscription and rearmament – the world doesn’t need more weapons. Military rearmament in itself is a major contributing cause of conflict, and that conflicts take a violent and destructive process," the organization said on its website.
Anna Ek, the chairman of SPAS, has also invited the Russian submarine crew members to join the upcoming Pride Parade in Stockholm on Aug. 1, 2015. Ek had insisted that Sweden give up the planned $700 million increase in military spending and instead use the funds for peaceful cooperation and international development.
In October 2014, a suspected Russian submarine was sighted near the coast of Stockholm archipelago after which a 1.7 million pounds ($2.66 million) search began for the vessel. The week-long search was the largest military operation for the country.