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September 1, 2014

One of the most renowned lawyers fighting for LGBTI freedom in Russia was attacked by two men in black hoods in Kostroma

A gay rights activist in Russia is speaking out after being attacked by two hooded thugs.

Nikolai Alekseev, a lawyer behind many of the legal fights against the country's anti-gay laws, was targeted early this morning in the city of Kostroma - a city north of Moscow.

At around 6.50am, as he was leaving the platform of the train station when two men in black hoods ran up to him.

June 18, 2014

Gay rights activists suspect ban was repealed is because lawmakers do not want to be 'humiliated' by the European Court of Human Rights

St Petersburg has repealed the ‘gay propaganda’ law.

Lawmakers in the city’s local assembly decided there was no longer a need for a local law now there is a federal ban.

The second largest city in Russia was one of the first to introduce an anti-gay law in 2012.

Vitaly Milonov, who was the co-sponsor of the original homophobic legislation in St Petersburg, introduced the repeal but this does not mean he is supporting LGBTI people.

He said he will continue to fight against ‘gay propaganda’ and seek to criminalize such acts.

April 4, 2014

Six judges in Kostroma, in western Russia, have ruled the city was wrong to ban a gay rights protest over 'propaganda' fears

In what is being described as the biggest gay rights victory in Russia yet, a ban on Pride was declared illegal today (4 April).

The Presidium of Kostroma Regional Court - the highest court in the region - has ruled two rallies held last year in June protesting against the nationwide ‘gay propaganda’ ban should have been allowed to go ahead.

The six judges heard from gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev as well as the western Russian’s city local government that banned the event.

February 18, 2014

Constitional Court has agreed to evaluate Russia's gay propaganda bill, the 'last chance' before a fight to get it repealed at the European Court of Human Rights

Russia’s anti-gay federal law is to face scrutiny at the Constitutional Court.

Gay rights activists are hoping judges will rule against the law banning the promotion of homosexuality.

They say they are giving Russian courts the ‘last chance’ to recognize the homophobic legislation is in contradiction of basic human rights given to the LGBTI community.

December 6, 2013

British King of Pop will risk jail and deportation if he possibly goes too far in his message to the LGBT community in Russia

Elton John has vowed to speak out on gay propaganda laws in Russia tonight (6 December).

The British singer will be playing two dates in Russia, in Moscow tonight and the Volga city of Kazan on Saturday.

He said while he will avoid being strongly critical of Putin, he has prepared something ‘meaningful’ to the LGBT community.

The 66-year-old star is the biggest pop star, and only major gay artist, to play in Russia since the ban on gay propaganda was enforced in June.

November 6, 2013

While the federal law will still stand, Arkhangelsk is the first region in the entirety of Russia to repeal a ban on 'gay propaganda'

A Russian region has become the first to repeal a law banning ‘gay propaganda’ today (6 November).

Lawmakers in Arkhangelsk, in north Russia, decided there is no longer a need for a local law now there is a federal ban.

The region, known as ‘Archangel’, was the second after Ryazan to implement a local anti-gay law in 2011.

It was before seven others including Saint Petersburg followed in 2012.

In the two years since having a regional ban on gay propaganda, Arkhangelsk only found three activists guilty of disobeying the law.

November 1, 2013

Gay rights activists have accused the Moscow authorities of condoning Adolf Hitler's actions during the Holocaust by banning a peaceful protest

Russia has banned a tribute to the LGBTI victims of Nazi Germany.

On 31 October, the Moscow government refused a group to condemn Adolf Hitler’s actions and honor the 100,000 gay people arrested during World War II.

Gay rights activists have condemned the refusal as ‘surreal’ and ‘absurd’.

Around 20 participants applied to hold a peaceful event in Kudrinskaya Square in Moscow on 5 November.

October 2, 2013

A Russian judiciary court has agreed with an international ruling, a sign they could be forced to in years to come to repeal the federal law

A historic ruling in Russia could be the key to finding an end to the ‘gay propaganda’ laws.

Back in March 2009, gay activist Irina Fet protested against the regional homophobic law in Ryazan.

She held a placard saying ‘Homosexuality - It's Normal’ and ‘I am proud of my homosexuality’ outside schools and libraries.

Arrested, charged and fined 1,500 rubles ($46, €34), Fet was found guilty of informing minors about homosexuality.

While her group Moscow Pride appealed the charge, they lost at a local court.

September 28, 2013

Donations from Swinton and generous people around the world have helped cover the cost of funeral for inspirational gay activist

British actress Tilda Swinton has donated over £1000 ($1603) to the funeral of Russian gay rights activist Alexey Davydov.

The actress, a prominent supporter of gay rights, sent the donation to help cover the cost of Davydov's funeral.

The organisers needed to raise over $2000 (£1247) to cover the cost of the funeral, which they have now surpassed.

Nikolai Alekseev, one of the organisers of Moscow Pride, confirmed they had received the donation from Swinton.

September 27, 2013

Alexey Davydov, 36, has died in hospital after a short life dedicated to LGBT rights

One of Russia’s most prominent LGBT activists, Alexey Davydov, has died at just 36 years old after a prolonged illness.

Davydov passed away at 5.40am local time today (27 September) in the intensive care unit of a Moscow hospital.

Despite his illness, he had worked for LGBT rights to the end. He had been due to protest outside the Sochi Olympics headquarters in Moscow on Tuesday (24 September), a demonstration leading to the arrest of 10 activists.

September 27, 2013

While the federal law will still stand in Arkhangelsk, repealing the law could aid a court battle at the European Court of Human Rights

A Russian region is planning to repeal a law banning ‘gay propaganda’.

Lawmakers in Arkhangelsk, north Russia, have decided there is no longer a need for a local law now there is a federal ban.

The region, known as ‘Archangel’, was the second after Ryazan to implement a local anti-gay law in 2011.

It was before seven others including Saint Petersburg followed in 2012.

In the two years since, Arkhangelsk has only found three activists guilty of disobeying the law.

September 25, 2013

A group of 10 have proved what will happen if gay rights activists dare to defy the protest ban during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games

Ten LGBT activists were arrested at Sochi Olympics HQ in Moscow for daring to defy Russia’s anti-gay laws today (25 September).

The group, led by gay activist Nikolai Alekseev, tried to hold a protest against the ban against public rallies during the Olympic Games in Sochi next year.

According to eyewitness reports, once police seized a poster calling for the end to homophobia in Russia the group were immediately arrested at around 2pm (local time).

July 26, 2013

Gay rights campaigners have responded to Dan Savage's worldwide call to drop Russian vodka as a symbol of protest against Vladimir Putin's anti-gay laws

Russian LGBT activists have responded to the worldwide call to boycott Russian vodka, saying there is ‘no point’ and will not change anti-gay laws.

Nikolai Alekseev, a regular Gay Star News contributor, has said it will have little effect on the ‘gay propaganda’ law.

US gay rights campaigner Dan Savage pioneered the boycott, telling gay bars to ‘dump Russian vodka’.

Alekseev, in the heart of fighting against the homophobic law, described the boycott as a ‘symbolic gesture doomed to failure’.

July 3, 2013

Russian President makes a ban on foreign gay couples adopting from Russia as well as straight and gay individuals with countries where same-sex marriage is legal

President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning foreign gay and lesbian couples from adopting Russian children today (3 July).

It follows the legalization of ‘non-traditional relationships’ propaganda also signed into law three days ago, effectively making homophobia legal.

In a statement, the Kremlin said the law is aimed at ‘guaranteeing a harmonious and full upbringing for children in adoptive families’.

June 29, 2013

LGBT activists in Russia confirm that police have arrested about 60 participants in today’s gay pride parade for violating the country's anti-gay laws, while some were beaten and suffered injuries

All the participants in today’s St Petersburg gay pride parade have been arrested and are being detained in police vans.  

Some participants were badly beaten by anti-gay protestors. 

Nikolai Alekseev, one of Russia’s most prominent LGBT activists who was arrested last month for organizing a gay rights march, confirmed with GSN that around 60 fellow activists and pro-gay supporters are now in police custody. 

June 29, 2013

St. Petersburg’s registry office rejects an attempt by five gay Russian couples to apply for marriage

The first attempt in the history of Russia to register en mass five gay marriages was rejected out of hand by St. Petersburg’s authorities.

Five same-sex couples, three gay and two lesbian partners, arrived to St. Petersburg registry office to officially submit applications to register their marriages, yesterday (28 June).

June 27, 2013

Anyone who offends a religious believer could be sent to jail as the Senate also makes it illegal for foreign gay couples to adopt children

Russia’s upper house of parliament passed the nationwide ‘gay propaganda’ bill yesterday (26 June), leaving it to President Vladimir Putin who supports it to sign into law.

The Senate approved the measure by 137 votes to 0, with one abstention.

A bill banning adoption of Russian orphans by gay couples abroad or unmarried individuals in countries where same-sex unions are legal was also passed.

June 26, 2013

Russian President says despite a 'gay gag' bill is set to become law, it does not infringe on the rights of LGBT people

Vladimir Putin has warned Western countries not to interfere on Russia’s plan to ban ‘gay propaganda’.

Speaking in Finland yesterday (25 June), the president said he does not instruct other countries on their position on homosexuality therefore they should not interfere in Russia.

June 15, 2013

A Russian woman has been fined 20,000 rubles for participating in an LGBT rights protest – the largest fine handed down to date by a Russian court

A Russian woman has been fined 20,000 rubles for participating in a May 25 Moscow Pride event.

Anna Annenkov and her girlfriend Elena Kostuchenko had held up a rainbow flag at the event with the slogan ‘Love is Stronger.’

Annenkov was found guilty yesterday over her involvement in the event by federal court judge Tatyana Neverona - who will also hear Kostuchenko’s case.

20,000 rubles is the equivalent of around $650 dollars.

June 11, 2013

State Duma passes 'homosexual propaganda' law unanimously fining people and organizations for so called 'gay propaganda' with foreigners jailed and deported

The lower house of Russia’s parliament (State Duma) has overwhelmingly passed a bill that bans so-called ‘propaganda’ of homosexuality.

The State Duma voted 434-0 with one abstention on today (11 June) to approve ban imposing hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information about LGBT issues to minors.

The bill now needs, as a formality, to be approved by Russia’s appointed upper house and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, but this is expected to follow by the end of the this month.

June 11, 2013

State Duma passes 'homosexual propaganda' law unanimously that will see people fined and foreigners deported if they are gay

Russia has passed a law that will see gay people arrested for ‘promoting homosexuality’.

The State Duma has voted unanimously for the ‘propaganda’ law in the second reading today (11 June).

Elena Mizulina represented the bill for 10 minutes where she spoke about the changes that had been made.

Aleksey Mitrofanov, a deputy from the A Just Russia party, was the only one who questioned the bill.

He questioned a proposed amendment where foreigners would be arrested and deported if they were deemed ‘promoting homosexuality’.

June 6, 2013

Three masked men attacked Nikolai Alekseev, who received minor injuries, as he was about to board a train leaving from Kostroma to Moscow, Russia

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia was attacked, as he was about to board a train in Kostroma heading for Moscow, Russia.

Three skinheads dressed in black, wearing white masks that covered their faces, cycled right up to Alekseev, physically and verbally assaulting him, earlier today (5 June).

Alekseev recounted to Gay Star News, while recovering on his train journey: ‘I was about 100 meters from the train station when someone ran into my back with a bicycle.

June 5, 2013

Legislators of St. Petersburg parliament have rejected an attempt to repeal a law that bans so-called 'propaganda' of homosexuality

The St. Petersburg city parliament has rejected an initiative to repeal a law banning the so-called ‘propaganda' of homosexuality.

The city introduced the in March 2012 punishing the 'propaganda' of homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality amongst minors with a fine of 5,000 rubles ($157) for individuals, 50,000 rubles ($1,570) for officials and 250,000-500,000 rubles ($7,854-$15,710) for organizations.

‘It is absurd to introduce liability for something which is not a crime or offence.

May 24, 2013

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride, received a warning from Russian authorities not to go ahead with the event tomorrow, or else face legal consequences

Nikolai Alekseev, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia, has received a warning from the Russian General Prosecution not to go ahead with a planned Moscow Pride tomorrow.

Earlier today (24 May) security officers twice served a warning to Alekseev at his Moscow home.

Last year, Moscow's highest court ruled to ban gay pride parades in the Russian capital for the next century.