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First Russian Media Outlet Fined for Gay Propaganda

Published: January 31, 2014 (Issue # 1795)



  • Protesters at one of the many "anti-gay" rallies held in St. Petersburg last year.
    Photo: National-Democratic Party / VKontakte

Anti-gay propaganda legislation introduced in Russia last year has been used for the first time against media with the fining of a newspaper editor who reported about a school teacher allegedly fired because he was gay.

Alexander Suturin, editor-in-chief of the Molodoi Dalnevostochnik newspaper in the Far East, was fined 50,000 rubles ($1,400), local news website Amurburg.ru said Thursday.

Suturin, who blamed the verdict on a shadow morality police and brown plague, said he would appeal.

Molodoi Dalnevostochnik, the oldest publication in the Khabarovsk region, came under fire because it bears a label warning people only above the age of 16 to visit its website, Amurburg.ru said.

Related: U.S. Reporter Stages Gay Pride Protest on Russia Today (video)

A law passed in June prohibited promotion of nontraditional sexual relations among minors. The age of majority in Russia is 18.

The story in questioned, titled A History About Gay-ography, dated back to September.

It detailed the claims of a local geography teacher and gay rights activist who said he was pressured into quitting his job at school and assaulted by neo-Nazis because of his sexuality.

Suturin denied in court that the report constituted propaganda of gay relationships.

The law against gay propaganda has provoked a backlash in the West and prompted calls to boycott the Sochi Olympics taking place next month.

Related: Putin Signs 'Blasphemy' and 'Gay Propaganda' Bills

The law prohibits informing underage children about the attractiveness of nontraditional sexual relationships and giving them distorted ideas about social equality of traditional and nontraditional sexual relationships.

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly claimed in public, however, that the law does not amount to discrimination of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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