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December 16, 2014

'We found 20 teenagers there that were practically having sex on the stage'

A notoriously homophobic lawmaker raided a gay club in St Petersburg on Saturday night after complaints from parents that their underage children were 'trapped' in the venue.

Vitaly Milonov stormed a fetish party at Central Station club with a film crew from a local news site, the Moscow Times reported.

December 16, 2014

This happened in February, and the effects are still being felt today

The Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 will go down in history as the event that made gay rights not just an issue to discuss, but the center of a civil rights firestorm.

Even though it happened in February, the reverberations of the protests are still being felt as we reach the end of the year.

December 14, 2014

‘The Olympic Committee had a huge responsibility in Sochi and they didn't stand up for human rights,’ says Anja Paerson

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been slammed for not supporting and defending LGBTI athletes.

Swedish skier Anja Paerson made the comments when reflecting on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in which many gay athletes and spectators did not feel safe in the wake of the Russian ‘gay propaganda’ law.

Paerson, who is now retired, felt the IOC did not do enough to stand up for gay athletes.

December 12, 2014

Take Me To Church has been streamed more than 87 million times

A protest song against Russia's 'gay propaganda' laws is Spotify's most streamed single in 2014.

Take Me To Church by Irish singer Hozier has had more than 87 million streams to date on the music platform.

Also nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammys, the gay rights anthem has also logged more than 40 million views for the video version on YouTube.

The video shows a young gay couple fleeing an angry mob in Russia.

December 10, 2014

App's Best of 2014 Awards find Clinton 'Straight Ally of the Year' and Vladimir Putin 'Enemy of the LGBT Community'

Hillary Clinton has not yet formally announced her candidacy for President of the United States but she can already count on one block of voters.

Grindr users voted the former Secretary of State, US Senator and First Lady the 'Straight Ally of the Year' in the app's third annual Best of Awards.

In contrast to the support Clinton received, Russian President Vladimir Putin was voted 'Enemy of the LGBT Community' - no doubt for his championing of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

December 8, 2014

New rules imply that any host city will have to prove they do not actively discriminate against gay people

The Olympics has taken a huge step forward in protecting gay rights.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved Proposal 14 of the Olympic Agenda 2020 to include non-discrimination with regard to sexual orientation in Principle 6 at a vote in Monaco today (8 December).

Principle 6 originally read: 'Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement.'

December 8, 2014

First time in a decade Nikolay Alexeyev is compensated for his activism

A prominent LGBTI activist has been awarded a paltry $55 in damages after the west Russian city of Kostroma banned a pride parade he organized and two protests against the country's anti-gay law.

A district court Wednesday (3 November) ordered local authorities pay 3,000 rubles ($55) in moral damages to Nikolai Alexeyev, the first time in a decade of activism he has been compensated for moral damages.

December 5, 2014

Russian leader was forced to defend his anti-gay laws in front of the Human Rights Council

President Vladimir Putin has claimed Russia is not homophobic, saying the rest of the world has merely branded the country that way.

The Russian leader has claimed other countries, such as the US, is actually far more homophobic.

He was forced to defend his anti-gay laws, the 'gay propaganda' law and the ban on people from countries with same-sex marriage adopting Russian children. Putin was speaking with representatives of the Human Rights Council and the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia today (5 December).

December 4, 2014

Was part of silver medal winning team at this year's Olympic Games in Sochi

Canadian figure skater Eric Radford has come out publicly as a gay man.

Radford was part of the team that won the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia this year.

He and partner Meagan Duhamel a three-time defending Canadian champions in pairs skating and have won bronze at the World Championships the past two years.

Radford had seriously considered coming out before competing in Sochi. It would have been a tremendously bold statement because of Russia's anti-gay propaganda law which had been getting worldwide attention.

December 2, 2014

22-year-old says it’s a call to action for LGBTIs in Eastern Europe

An actor has stripped off to fight homophobia and save an LGBTI Lithuanian movie project.

He hopes You Can’t Escape Lithuania, a queer road movie, will challenge prejudice in the country which has a Protection of Minors law, similar to Russia’s anti-gay propaganda legislation.

November 28, 2014

Vitaly Cherkasov was accosted by a group of men after leaving a courthouse where he had been defending activist Kirill Kalugin

The Moscow Times reports that a human rights lawyer has been attacked whilst leaving a St. Petersburg court.

The lawyer, Vitaly Cherkasov, was employed to defend an LGBT activist and says that one of his assailants is the aide to a local anti-gay lawmaker.

November 28, 2014

Vitaly Cherkasov was accosted by a group of men after leaving a courthouse where he had been defending activist Kirill Kalugin

The Moscow Times reports that a human rights lawyer has been attacked whilst leaving a St. Petersburg court.

The lawyer, Vitaly Cherkasov, was employed to defend an LGBT activist and says that one of his assailants is the aide to a local anti-gay lawmaker.

November 18, 2014

Recommendation comes after heavy criticism for holding 2014 Winter Games in Russia

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is recommending that sexual orientation become one of the protected classes listed in the non-discrimination policy of the Olympic Charter.

The IOC underwent heavy criticism for many months leading up to the Sochi Olympics this year because they were held in Russia, a country that has an anti-gay propaganda law.

The policy would be part of Principle 6 of the charter. The proposal will be considered at the full IOC meeting in Monaco on 8 December.

November 18, 2014

'When I think of Russia I think of the secret gay house parties I have been to kissing boys drunk on vodka and caviar'

Transgender rapper Mykki Blanco has penned a love letter to Russia after she was forced to change venue due to a police raid.

Police closed the Solyanka club in Moscow on Friday (14 November), hours before she was scheduled to perform there.

Fans speculated that Blanco had fallen foul of Russia's gay 'propaganda' law but she said the timing was coincidental.

Blanco is the transgender stage persona of Michael Quattlebaum Jr but he identifies as a gay man.

November 14, 2014

Transgender woman married her girlfriend last week

Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov is preparing a bill that would require brides and grooms to wear traditional attire after a transgender woman married her girlfriend in a dress last week.

Alyona Fursova and Irina Shumilova married at a St Petersburg registry last Friday both wearing white wedding dresses and carrying bouquets.

November 12, 2014

Maxim Martsinkevich, known as 'Machete', will now be out of jail in under three years

A man who lured gay teens to a home, tortured them and reportedly drove several to suicide will now be free in under three years.

Maxim Martsinkevich, the leader of the anti-LGBTI group Occupy Pedophilia, had his sentence in a labor camp reduced by over two years yesterday at Moscow City Court.

He was not jailed for pioneering the horrific videos in which gay teens are 'punished for their sins', which have been imitated by several others across the country, but for 'hooliganism'.

November 10, 2014

Statue was labled 'homosexual propaganda' after Jobs' successor, Tim Cook, came out publicly as gay

Elton John performed in St. Petersburg over the weekend and had a few things to say about the anti-propaganda laws that discriminate against LGBTI people in Russia.

John blasted the government for their recent removal of a statue of Apple founder Steve Jobs because his successor, Tim Cook, came out publicly as gay last month.

November 10, 2014

Transgender bride cannot change her gender on offical documents so the union is legal

Two women have become the first gay couple to register their marriage in Russia despite laws banning same-sex unions.

Alyona Fursova and Irina Shumilova arrived at a St Petersburg registry on Friday both wearing white wedding dresses and carried bouquets.

The Family Code of Russia states that marriage is 'a voluntary consent of a man and a woman' but the couple found a loophole in the law.

Fursova is transgender and on hormone therapy and despite looking and living as a woman, she is unable to change her gender on legal documents.

November 3, 2014

Nobody tell them about Alan Turing

A Russian memorial to the late Apple founder Steve Jobs has been torn down as CEO Tim Cook has come out as gay.

The tribute, a giant six foot iPhone with a large screen and QR code showing moments from Jobs' life, was taken down by the company that funded its erection in 2013.

ZEFS claimed they needed to tear it down in order to abide by the law banning 'gay propaganda'.

The memorial was removed the day after Cook officially came out.

October 30, 2014

Vitaly Milonov: 'What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there'

Tim Cook has received widespread support after coming out publicly but his action has at least one public official in Russia calling for the Apple CEO to be banned from his country.

'What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there,' Vitaly Milonov, a member of the St. Petersburg City Council told the FlashNord website.

Milonov added: 'Ban him for life.'

October 28, 2014

Dozens of counter-protesters hurled tomatoes and insults at three LGBTI activists

Dozens of Russian nationalists hurled tomatoes and insults at three LGBTI activists on Sunday in the southern city of Lipetsk.

Two young women and a man were confronted at the central Cathedral Square by about 100 nationalists and conservatives as well as police officers deployed to prevent violence.

Protestor Reida Linn told LRNews that they were 'fighting homophobia, discrimination and violations of the Constitution and of the rights of LGBT people.'

She said it was not an authorized rally, which are subject to prosecution under Russian law.

October 27, 2014

The bill was passed in a landslide vote earlier this month

The United Nations human rights office has urged Kyrgyzstan to scrap a draft law that punishes the spreading of 'gay propaganda' with up to a year in jail.

The Kyrgyz parliament passed the Russian-style bill in a landslide vote at its first reading earlier this month.

October 21, 2014

'Dark Lady' singer supports documentary that showed LGBTI Russians being held hostage by anti-gay groups

Cher has paid tribute to LGBTI Russians, describing them as 'brave warriors' today (21 October).

The 'Dark Lady' singer and living legend also promoted a recent documentary, Hunted, which showed the plight of gay youth suffering under the country's anti-gay laws.

She tweeted: 'Sending Love 2 Our Gay Brothers & Sisters, Being Held Hostage in Russia.

'Their ONLY Crime is Being True 2Themselves!

'They R Brave Warriors.'

October 20, 2014

St Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov wants all mail bearing erotic Tom of Finland stamps to be returned to sender and for Finns to not use the stamps when mailing Russia

An outspoken anti-gay Russian lawmaker is outraged that the Russian postal service has been allowing mail bearing Finnish stamps commemorating gay erotic artist Tom of Finland to be delivered and has declared them ‘gay propaganda’ in breach of Russia’s censorship laws.