A gay rights activist is suing popular Russian celebrity Ivan Okhlobystin, demanding an apology and monetary compensation over a speech in which the former priest said gays should be burned alive.
Nikolai Bayev said in a post on his Facebook page Wednesday that he did not expect his suit against Okhlobystin to succeed in Russia, but that he hopes to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, reports RIA Novosti.
Bayev claims in his lawsuit that he took the statement as a personal threat and that it “caused him feelings of fear, disturbance and inferiority.”
He wants Okhlobystin to issue and apology to the LGBT community and also to pay him 30,000 rubles (about $860 USD) in moral damages.
In November 2013, Okhlobystin, a father of six, said he wanted to burn gay people alive because they pose a danger to his children.
“I’d put them all alive in the oven … it’s a living danger to my children,” he said during a chat with fans in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk.
Article continues belowEarlier this month, Okhlobystin published an open letter asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring back a Soviet law criminalizing “sodomy.”
Okhlobystin, 47, is one of Russia’s most extravagant media personalities, and served as an Orthodox Christian priest as well as acting until his priesthood was suspended in 2010.
The lawsuit has been accepted by the Tushino District Court in Moscow where Bayev lives, and the first hearing into the case is scheduled for February 17.