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Russia gay teen social media support group charged with propaganda

Founder of a VK page, which encourages gay teens to write letters and share their stories, could be facing a huge fine

A Russian gay teen social media support group is being charged with breaking propaganda laws.

Elena Klimova, the founder of the group Children-404 which operates on Russian social network VK, is accused of breaking the law by encouraging teens to believe being gay is normal.

She was summoned to the court in the Russian region of Ural to answer the charges.

On the website, ‘Children 404’ encourages LGBTI teens to share their stories to make others feel less alone.

The name is a reference to the internet error page ‘404 – Page Not Found’.

‘Our society believes gay teens do not exist in nature, as if the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people arrive from Mars as adults.

‘Meanwhile, in every 20th family, a child is LGBT. But they are invisible to society, they are children 404.’

According to the legal papers, Klimova used the internet to ‘promote unconventional sexual relations among minors, resulting in information aimed at developing juveniles to explore unconventional sexualities’.

They claimed she broke the law by ‘distorting the picture of society’ and failed to protect children from harmful information.

If Klimova is charged, she could face up to a 100,000 rubles ($2,800, €2,100) fine.

The case follows the first newspaper being fined for gay propaganda after they published an interview with a fired gay teacher, who said ‘being gay is normal’. The editor was fined 50,000 rubles ($1,400, €1,000).

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