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January 24, 2015

Conviction of Children-404’s Lena Klimova proves hideous law is alive and well

Lena Klimova, the founder of LGBTI kids’ support group Children-404 in Russia, is the latest victim of the country’s controversial ‘anti-gay propaganda law’.

The social worker has been fined 50,000 rubles ($780, €700) by the Russian courts for creating the online community group in March 2013.

The website encourages young people to share experiences of how it feels to grow up as an LGBTI person. It’s said Klimova, who was previously acquitted of the same charge, did not have access to legal counsel before her conviction.

February 4, 2014

Trio brutally beat and stabbed victim to death in country's far east region then put his body in a car they doused with gasoline and set on fire

Three men in Russia were found guilty on Monday (3 February) of brutally murdering a man because they thought he was gay.

They have been sentenced to between 9 and 12-and-a-half years in prison for the grisly crime which last took place last May in a village in the country's Kamchatka Region, according to RIA Novosti.

The victim, 29, was beaten and stabbed in the chest, face and neck.

January 29, 2014

Dick Pound: 'Not that I approve of the law, but putting it on a scale of 1-10 of odious laws, it’s not way up there near 10'

Dick Pound, a Canadian who is a member of the International Olympic Committee, says Russia's anti-gay propaganda law isn't so bad when you compare it to some other countries.

'In Malaysia, you can be put to death. In Nigeria, you can be put in jail for God knows how long,' Pound tells Metro News.'So it’s a target of convenience with respect to Russia'

January 25, 2014

Proposed amendments to the controversial anti-gay law would remove the term ‘non-traditional’ but would ban the promotion of all sexual relations, gay or straight, to minors

Russian MPs from several political parties have submitted a proposal to amend the country’s anti-gay propaganda law, according to Queer Russia.

If the proposal is signed into law, it would ban the promotion of any sexual relations to underage children. Currently only the promotion of ‘non-traditional’ sexual relations, such as same-sex partnerships, is forbidden.

January 24, 2014

Andrew Rannells, Jonathan Groff, Harvey Fierstein and Michael Urie among those making powerful musical statement in Love and Punishment

With a cast that could rival a Tony Awards telecast in terms of star wattage, some of Broadway's biggest stars use their talent in a new video to make a statement against Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

In the video, the Russian government cites the propaganda law in outlawing theatrical performances on 'The Great Red Way.'

The Russian Broadway community responds in the only way they know how - they put on a show called Love and Punishment.

January 19, 2014

'It has nothing to do with persecuting people for their non-traditional orientation. My personal position is that society must keep children safe'

In an interview with a small group of reporters, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended his country's ‘gay propaganda’  laws.

'It seems to me that the law that we have adopted does not hurt anyone,' he said in a 17 January interview, according to ABC News.

January 11, 2014

Says Russia has 'provided vague guidance as to which actions will be interpreted by authorities as "LGBT propaganda"'

The US State Department made special note of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law in a travel alert it issued on Friday (10 January) for those traveling to Sochi for the Olympics.

The alert mentions Russia's ban on 'propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,' the controversial anti-gay law that went into effect last year, and states it will be applied to visitors as well as Russians.

But the US government acknowledges that the law is quite vague.

December 28, 2013

Maria Maksakova said Russia has suffered extremely negative consequences – artists lose their jobs and sexual minorities are attacked

Renowned Russian opera singer Maria Maksakova has become one of the few people in the ruling United Russia party to publicly oppose the gay propaganda law.

The 36-year-old messo soprano soloist with St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater said the law has ‘extremely negative consequences.’

December 10, 2013

New Yorker Editor David Remnick is an expert on Russia

NBC's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in will now include New Yorker editor David Remnick focusing on Russia's politics including the country's anti-gay propaganda law.

Remnick is an expert on Russia writing pieces for The New Yorker about Russian politics and culture. He is the former Moscow bureau chief for the Washington Post.

'David is a distinguished journalist who knows Russia very well, and we’re excited to have his expertise on the host country for our Sochi coverage,' Jim Bell, executive producer, NBC Olympics, said in a statement.

November 8, 2013

'It allows people to abuse and hurt and vilify the LGBT community under the guise of some propaganda law that's just ridiculous'

MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, one of the most high-profile gay newsmen in the US, had some blunt criticism for Russia and its anti-gay propaganda law.

'The Russian laws obviously are a dark time and a dark chapter in LGBT history here,' says Roberts who is in Moscow this week to co-host the Miss Universe pageant for NBC.

November 7, 2013

Anton Krasovsky tells MSNBC's Thomas Roberts he still believes coming out 'was my debt to Russian gay people'

It's been 10 months since Anton Krasovsky announced on Russia's Kontr TV Channel that he is gay.

Within hours, he was fired from the government-backed cable network that he had helped launch. Viewers had to see his announcement live because footage of it was soon deleted from KontrTV's website and from YouTube.

'I'm sitting here without a job and actually without money,' Krasovsky tells MSNBC's Thomas Roberts in an interview Wednesday (6 November).

October 1, 2013

Sergei Naryshkin: 'They build their lives freely and in accordance with their preferences'

The head of the Russian state of Duma said today (1 October) that the country's anti-gay propaganda law will not lead to discrmination.

At a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Sergei Naryshkin also said that no one discriminates against LGBT people in Russia.

The broadly-written law prohibits public support of homosexuality and has brought widespread criticism to Russia ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

August 18, 2013

Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova were photographed kissing on the lips at the Track and Field World Championships in Moscow

Two Russian runners could face prosecution after kissing on the lips in front of cameras and audiences.

After winning gold medals in the 4x400m race at the World Athletic Championships held in Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firova locked lips on the winner’s podium.

It remains unclear as to whether the athletes were congratulating each other in a sign of affection or blatantly defying Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ laws since neither of the athletes have released a statement.

August 13, 2013

'If a person does not put across his views in the presence of children, no measures against him can be taken'

Russian officials made clear Monday that they have no plans to suspend their anti-gay propaganda laws for the duration of the Olympics when they are held in Sochi in February 2014.

The International Olympic Committee had asked for written clarification on the law and how it might impact athletes and spectators during the Olympics.

August 9, 2013

Vitaly Churkin defended Russia’s law banning homosexual 'propaganda' to a group of demonstrators protesting outside his New York residence

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations has said Russia does not have anti-gay laws.

During a confrontation with a group of people protesting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi outside his New York residence yesterday, Vitaly Churkin said: ‘We don't have anti-gay laws. We have laws banning homosexual propaganda among minors.’

August 8, 2013

'But of course you have to respect the laws of the country you are in'

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko wants everyone to 'calm down' about his country's anti-gay propaganda law and the Olympics.

Just a week ago, Mutko said gay athletes would be 'held accountable' if they went into the street and started 'propagandizing' their sexuality.

July 25, 2013

Journalist Tommaso Cerno says: 'This is going to be a homophobic law, nobody wants it'

The Italian parliament is going to vote on a bill banning gay hate crimes, but the LGBT community has called it the 'worst law ever'.

The bill to reform existing antidiscrimination legislation is scheduled for debate in the lower chamber tomorrow (26 July).

According to Italian activists, opinion leaders and reporters, the law being discussed is possibly the worst solution for the recent homophobic attacks.

February 8, 2013

Skating champ loves Russia but 'it's appalling they can censor their public'

Figure skating star Johnny Weir loves Russia where he is immensely popular with fans.

But anti-gay laws in the country have him warning his fellow gay athletes when they participate in the Winter Olympics next year in Sochi, Russia.

January 27, 2013

Gay rights advocates in San Francisco, California, are the latest LGBT Americans and allies to protest Russia's gay gag law with a photo campaign

American allies are joining forces the Russian LGBT community in a new photo campaign to protest Russia's anti-gay propaganda bill.

Mike Petrelis, San Francisco-based blogger and gay rights advocate (pictured), has joined other Americans in the 'I am Not Propaganda' campaign started by Coming Out, an LGBT organization based in St. Petersburg, and