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Russia fines owner of LGBT teen support network for gay propaganda

Megan Boyanton July 29, 2015

The founder of an online LGBT community for Russian teens has been fined by the government for violating the anti-gay propaganda law.

Yelena Klimova was fined by a court for 50,000 roubles on the charge that her website Deti-404 spread LGBT propaganda to minors.

She appealed a similar charge earlier in the year and will attempt to appeal this ruling as well.

Deti-404, which translates to Children-404, acts as an online support system for LGBT teens in Russia, where homophobia and transphobia thrives.

The users often share photographs and stories on both the website and Facebook page about the anti-LGBT prejudices endured in their every-day lives.

She was convicted under a 2013 law signed by President Putin, which bans propaganda of “non-traditional sexual relationships”.

According to The Guardian, Ms Klimova said: “The law against gay propaganda legitimised violence against LGBT people, and they now are banning street actions under it.

“People are afraid because they understand that gay propaganda is banned, and even mentioning LGBT relations is essentially forbidden.”

Same-sex sexual relations are legal in Russia and homosexuality is no longer labelled an official mental illness – but the Russian LGBT community faces regular oppression from both the government and ‘vigilante’ groups, who often operate with impunity.

The United Russia party went as far as to release a “straight pride” flag.

 

A fellow activist was fined for holding a Pride parade in Moscow in June.

Ms Klimova has attracted unfettered contempt from many Russians, with courts suggesting her website should be blacklisted.

In April, Yelena Klimova released an online photo album on VKontakte entitled, “Beautiful People and What They Say To Me”.

The collection of 216 photos features the social media profile pictures of users who have left the most extreme comments on her posts.

Photo on Lena Klimova’s VKontakte page

According to Global Voices Online, Kolya’s comment translates to English: “Lena, I hate you.

“You are disgusting and, if I had the power, I would shoot you dead.

“I hope they ban your project and ostracise you from society. Nobody needs you, except freaks like you.”

Photo on Lena Klimova’s VKontakte page

Alexander’s comment translates to English: “You fucking slut! Why the fuck are you propagandizing fags?

“Sure, nobody wants to f*** you, but that’s your problem.

“Just close this disgusting group. Or else I’ll go and catch myself one of these f***, and I’ll beat the s*** out of him. 🙂

“And on his stupid f***ing face, I’ll inscribe the name of your group, and the whole thing will be YOUR fault!”

Photo on Lena Klimova’s VKontakte page

Aisha’s comment translates to English: “I, for one, think you’re a stupid b****.

“You think you’re helping anything with this holy crusade??

“Go and f***ing kill yourself before they come for you!!! People like you should be locked up!”

Recently, photographer Robin Hammond released his LGBT photo collection, “Where Love Is Illegal“, to share the stories of LGBT discrimination survivors.

Photo by Robin Hammond

A Russian lesbian couple, who go by “D & O”, retold their horrific memory online of being attacked on the street for holding hands.

The post states in their own words: “We got out of the subway and went our usual way, holding hands.

“The street was deserted, but nothing but we go that way every day, so we no reason to be worried.

“They attacked us when we were on the way to home…

“O: I heard quick footsteps, and immediately felt a strong blow to my head. They attacked us from behind without saying a thing.

“Everything happened so fast that I did not even have time to understand what was going on. I thought that they wanted to take my bag.

“D: I saw in my peripheral vision someone quickly approaching my girlfriend.

“I wanted to pull her toward me, but it was like lightning, and at this moment he hit her on the head. The impact was strong – she could barely stay on her feet.

“I was very scared. Turning, I saw that the attacker – one of those young people from the escalator.

“He shouted, ‘Oh, you f***ing lesbian!’. I tried to push him away, but then he hit me.

“O: In fright I screamed: ‘Are you crazy?! We’re sisters.’ At this moment he hit D. in the face, shouted, ‘Yeah, I saw you! Promoting  LGBT! ‘.

“I wanted to stop him, but I couldn’t even reach him. He hit me.

“He beat us in turn, shouting: ‘No LGBT!’. We tried to do something, but to no avail.

“We felt absolutely helpless. All this time his friend stood by filming what was happening on his phone, probably to show off to his friends.

“This lasted a few minutes. Finally the assailant shouted that he would kill us if he ever saw us again.

“Then they were gone.”

More: Anti-gay, anti-gay law, anti-gay laws, Children 404, deti-404, Discrimination, Europe, Gay, Gay rights, Homophobia, homophobic, Law, lesbian, LGBT, LGBT rights, Moscow, Pride, putin, Russia, Russia, Trans, Transgender, yelena klimova

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