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Russian newspaper fined for violating country’s anti-gay propaganda law

Thursday, January 30, 2014

MOSCOW — A Russian newspaper has become the first media organization to be fined under the country’s anti-gay propaganda law after it profiled an openly gay teacher.

Alexander Yermoshkin

Alexander Yermoshkin

Alexander Suturin, editor-in-chief of the Molodoi Dalnevostochnik newspaper in the Russian Far East, was fined 50,000 rubles ($1,400 USD) Monday by the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, the Russian Federal media watchdog agency that oversees enforcement of the law.

The newspaper came under scrutiny for alleged violation of the country’s anti-gay “propaganda” law after it profiled Alexander Yermoshkin, an a openly gay middle school teacher who was fired from his job after a group of 678 residents of Khabarovsk, calling itself the Movement Against Sexual Perversions, complained to the school where he had been employed, asking for his termination.

The group alleged Yermoshkin could exert a negative influence on the children and make them think that “nontraditional relations are as normal as traditional ones.”

In its profile of Yermoshkin, known locally for his gay rights and environmental activism, the newspaper noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin had given public assurances that the anti-gay law would not affect LGBT people’s job prospects, claiming “the rights of people with nontraditional orientation are infringed upon neither in terms of profession nor salary level.”

The article also claimed that Putin’s statement “does not appear to be accurate,” citing a poll conducted by the Russian group LGBT Network, that found “38 percent of respondents said they had experienced difficulties at work due to their sexual orientation.”

Following publication, the watchdog agency said it had received several complaints about the article — titled “History of Gay-ography” — despite the fact that the newspaper printed the required caution notice on its front page that the article was intended for readers aged 16 and above.

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Investigators took exception to the reference to Putin, coupled with a quote by Yermoshkin, who said, “My very existence is effective proof that homosexuality is normal.”

Galina Yegoshina, a specialist with the agency said Yermoshkin’s statement “goes against logic.”

“By offering it to underage readers, the author is misleading them about the normality of homosexuality,” said Yegoshina. “According to the author’s logic, it would be possible to call normal and even effective the existence of rapists and serial killers.”

The fine is the least severe action that could have been levied against the newspaper — the maximum penalty for violating the law is a fine of 1 million rubles and shutting down its presses for 90 days.

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25 more reader comments:

  1. Go them .. Fite the power

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:26pm
  2. Russia – We’ll pretend gay people don’t exist and bury our heads in the sand… because y’know ignorance is bliss and fuck them.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:26pm
  3. lamentável !!! e o pior que isso está se propagando pelo mundo…

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:26pm
  4. the first casualty of any war is the truth.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:27pm
  5. This country is making me so pissed right now…

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:27pm
  6. Russia fucking sucks. It is a shit hole of anti-gay hatred and a million and other one additional bigotries and backwardnesses. Putin should be sentenced to having his head pulled out of his ass.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:29pm
  7. And then there’s their anti-Left-handed Law…

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:34pm
  8. Following Yoshkina’s (or whatever her name is) logic, „gays = rapists/serial killers ?“

    May I know what serial killers have to do with gays ?

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:41pm
  9. putin the prude strikes again

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:49pm
  10. When Putin, the little Mussolini is gone, things will change.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:23pm
  11. Blessed GODS what a bass akwards place!!!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:24pm
  12. Want to talk about perversion? Or better yet, lets talk about corruption shall we? The Russian government allows the mafia to run the country and “regulate” their police. Let your people suffer so you can sit in your palatial home and laugh at their woe! PUTIN IS A TYRANT!

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:32pm
  13. Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:32pm
  14. You know the last time I heard an LGBT person or activist promote and condone rape and serial murder? NEVER. This has to stop.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:50pm
  15. why we must take action… join up! http://www.loveandpride.com/themissinglink

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 11:22pm
  16. Terribly wrong. Russian legislation enforced.

    Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 11:49pm
  17. So much for Freedom of the Press/ Media !! So much for Freedom of Speech !! Screw Putin !!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 12:27am
  18. I bet if this had happened after the Olympics, the punishment would have been much greater.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 4:45am
  19. We are born gay and we are not pedophiles! What is fucking wrong with Putin and the Russians? Are they all a bunch of closet cases? Russian porn is much more graphic than the rest of the world!! They were barebacking and drinking each other’s loads long before anyone else!!

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 6:15am
  20. Urge everyone to openly defy the anti-gay propaganda law.

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 6:37am
  21. Censorship at its finest

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 7:34am
  22. Good, shame the rest of this country cannot get its act together

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 9:28am
  23. is there no justice in russia?

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 1:22pm
  24. Lets not forget that in our own country we have numerous politicians and citizens that have the exact same beliefs as those held in Russia by Putin and his cronies.
    We need to concentrate on getting rid of the ignorance/hate in our own country first! Then we can concentrate on the other countries…

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 4:26pm
  25. What the hell, did Russia turn into Ike Turner at some point? “Fine yo ass!”

    Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 8:48pm