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Russian store refuses to hire gay man because of his ‘excessive grooming and provocative clothing’

Josh Jackman July 19, 2017
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A Russian company has said it refused to hire a man because his feminine appearance and behaviour could promote homosexuality.

Eduard Zavyalov, who lives in the southwestern city of Omsk, is filing a discrimination lawsuit against nutrition store Hardcore after he was turned away for its sales consultant role.

Natalia Chernorai, Hardcore’s human resources director, described how the store had rejected Zavyalov because of his “behavioral mannerisms (feminine speech inflections and gestures), as well as his outward appearance (excessive grooming and provocative clothing)”.

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She also observed that Zavyalov did not dispute that he was gay, which led Hardcore to decide it did not have the “moral and legal right” to hire him.

The company’s reasoning was based on Russia’s 2013 law which bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” towards minors.

It also prohibits people from sharing “distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships”.

The law has been widely abused to clamp down on the LGBT rights movement in Russia.

Last month the European Court of Human Rights ruled that it “reinforces stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia”.

Zavyalov’s court hearing is set for July 24, according to Meduza, a news outlet based in Latvia.

Meduza is made up of renegade reporters who left Russian media in order to report on what the site winkingly calls “The real Russia, today.”

Natalya Chistyakova, a Hardcore trainer whose husband owns the store, tried to distance herself from the company, telling Meduza she was just an occasional freelance specialist.

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Chistyakova, who is currently running for a position on Omsk city council, called the official statement made by Chernorai on behalf of the company “shocking.”

She added that it was “wrong, illegal, and certainly discriminatory.”

Last month, Tsargrad TV, a conservative religious TV channel with ties to Vladimir Putin, offered free one-way tickets out of the country for gay “perverts”.

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And this week, in an interview with HBO, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said families should kill their gay relatives, who he called “devils” and “not people.”

The US State Department has condemned the comments, as the White House finally spoke out against Kadyrov’s dangerous, deadly war on gay men.

More: Chechen, Chechnya, Europe, Homophobia, Law, meduza, omsk, President Vladimir Putin, Ramzan Kadyrov, Russia, Russia, workplace discrimination

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