Russian gay teen sprung from rehab after activist ‘siege’

Family tried to exorcize gay teenager in Moscow after he came out to them on his 16th birthday

Russian gay teen sprung from rehab after activist ‘siege’
25 April 2012

A gay teenager in Russia who was put into a drug rehab center after coming out to his father has been released following a 'seige' by activists.

Ivan Kharchenko spent 12 days in Moscow's Marshak facility for alleged drug abuse and alcoholism, but was last night sprung from the clinic by campaigners including activist Dmitry Aleshkovsky, who tweeted that his supporters staged an improvised seige.

According to Novaya Gazeta, Ivan's family were devastated after he came out to them earlier this year on his 16th birthday.

So much so that his grandmother sent him to a 'witch' to be exorcized.

His father then admitted Ivan to the rehabilitation center, allegedly against his will, where he was drugged so much he forgot his friends' names, Novaya Gazeta reported.

Campaigners have condemned his father's actions, accusing him of kidnapping.

An investigation will be launched into Ivan's hospitalization after lawyer Violetta Volkova told Ekho Moskvy radio that medics failed to confirm the allegations of drug and alcohol abuse.

LGBT rights have become a hot topic in Russia, after last month saw a national anti-gay bill, similar to the one passed in St Petersburg, submitted to the Russian parliament by lawmakers from the Novosibirsk region.

The proposed law calls for fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,500 €12,400) for 'spreading homosexual propaganda' among minors.

If passed, it would gag gay and transgender people nationwide, potentially banning public discussion of LGBT issues or events targeted at gay and trans people.

The St Petersburg bill, passed in February 2012, makes it an offense to engage in any 'propaganda' that could give minors 'the false perception that traditional and nontraditional relationships are socially equal.'

The Russian states of Arkhangelsk, Ryazan and Kostroma have already adopted similar anti-gay laws.

However, despite a poll by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM), showing 86% of the country's population support laws prohibiting public discussion of LGBT issues, only 6% of Russians have actually seen so-called 'propaganda'.



No thumbnail available

Obama quickly puts pressure on US House to pass ENDA

'One house of Congress should not stand in the way of millions of Americans who want to go to work each day and simply be judged by the job they do'
No thumbnail available

Pennsylvania clerk stops issuing same-sex marriage licenses

A Pennsylvania county clerk who began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples in July has agreed to stop doing so after being ordered to desist by a judge
No thumbnail available

Pride House to host gay sports matches during Olympics

Football, running and bowling all offered during gay London 2012 event, as well as debate on fighting homophobia in sport
No thumbnail available

Winterson's new memoir takes her back home

Jeanette Winterson new memoir looks at the past that made her
No thumbnail available

Student Pride to air gay short film festival event in London

It's being described as the 'best and most diverse' screening
No thumbnail available

Topless 'nuns' attacked by anti-gay marriage protestors

As part of a pro-gay response to anti-gay marriage protests in France, Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN staged a topless peaceful protest
No thumbnail available

Right-wing newspaper attacks anti-gay hate schools program in Australia

Proud Schools, a pilot program tackling homophobia in schools has come under attack from Australian right-wing newspaper The Daily Telegraph
No thumbnail available

Advice columnist gives amazing response to granny whose son has banned her from seeing her grandkids because she's gay

'To get away from gay people, does your son also plan to emigrate to the moon?'
Fashion designer Marc Jacobs splits from porn star boyfriend

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs splits from porn star boyfriend

Jacob's now-ex partner Harry Louis announces the couple's split on social media
No thumbnail available

Meet the MPs deciding on the next stage of gay marriage

19 members of parliament will now meet in committee to decide on each aspect of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill