Court throws out first case for St Petersburg gay hate law

Police evidence that two gay activists ‘promoted homosexuality to minors’ was insufficient

Court throws out first case for St Petersburg gay hate law
07 April 2012

The two gay activists arrested in St Petersburg on Thursday (5 April) have been released by a court.

They were the first two people arrested in the Russian city under its new legislation which bans ‘the promotion of homosexuality to minors’ and had faced fines of 5,000 roubles ($172 €125) each and 15 days imprisonment if found guilty.

Magistrate Alexei Kuznetsov ruled on Friday that the evidence presented by the police that Alexei Kiselev and Cyril Nepomnyashiy had contravened the now-infamous ‘gay propaganda to minors’ law did not meet legal requirements.

According to reports, Kiselyov and Nepomnyashiy had travelled from Moscow to St Petersburg to challenge the law and displayed placards simply saying ‘Gay – this is normal’. reported this evening that ‘based on available information at our disposal, the police evidence did not specify the detailed content of the activists, even posters’.

Nikolai Alekseev, founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia, is the legal representative for the two.

He told Gay Star News: ‘Posters themselves were not brought to court by police as evidence’

And the court refused to hear the ‘administrative offence’ that Kiselev and Nepomnyashiy were also charged with – namely that they had not applied for a license to hold their protest.

‘The fate of these administrative cases is dependent on the actions of the police to address the violations,’ Alekseev said. ‘If the records are returned to the court, the magistrate will consider the case and give a verdict. But in such cases, the police often simply close the case.

‘It shows the absolute inoperability of the law, initiated by the deputy Vitaly Milonov. Remember that last Wednesday the activists from the St Petersburg LGBT organisation Equality, Yuri and Maria Gavrikov Efremenkova, held pickets near the Junior Library.

‘The the police did not intervene. But the following day, the two activists from Moscow Gay Pride staged a similar picket at the Palace of Youth Creativity on Nevsky Prospect – and were arrested within half an hour and taken to the police department.’

The pair had spent a night in police cells before being taken in front of the court where they were released.



No thumbnail available

Nintendo attempts to explain why it will not allow gay characters

Game company is being accused of homophobia after it was revealed a new life simulation game would not include same-sex relationships or gay marriage
No thumbnail available

Church of England stops fighting gay marriage

Anglican Church – the state religion of Britain – will now work to ‘improve’ the equal marriage bill as it goes through parliament, not block it
No thumbnail available

Counter claims on Tasmanian same-sex marriage law’s legality ahead of vote

Anti-gay marriage group is using legal advice to claim a Tasmanian law would be unconstitutional
No thumbnail available

Lady Gaga launches her Born This Way Foundation

Singer aims to empower young people and to end bullying
No thumbnail available

Turkey progress report slammed - no progress for gay rights

Turkish activists claim: Turkey's own progress report to the European Union ignores repeated critique of the country's failure to protect LGBT people 
No thumbnail available

Sir Elton John adds hunks to his photo collection

Famed singer purchases photos of hunky men for his million-dollar collection
No thumbnail available

Trans and gay pair rejected for cleaning jobs by boss ‘expecting women’

Transgender and gay housemates say they were turned away from job cleaning local council offices in southern England
No thumbnail available

Tasmania equal marriage vigil attended by 250 people

Protest against anti-gay 'Excellent Marriage' rally led by Margaret Court is 'great success'
No thumbnail available

Major setback for gay marriage in US: Bans upheld in four states by federal appeals court

Decision 6th Circuit Court of Appeals opens the doors for US Supreme Court to review cases in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee
The Glass Closet story and Lord Browne

The Glass Closet story and Lord Browne

How The Glass Closet came about and more about its author, Lord Browne