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Content about Russia

July 24, 2014

Fresh from Toronto World Pride and gearing up for Amsterdam Pride next month, the foxy brothers took a break from their jet setting for some travel chat

For anyone curious about Russia’s gay scene, the O’Halley Brothers could be considered quite the authority.

The twin DJ’s, Bachir Mendez Maroff and Fabiano Mendez Maroff, left Brazil for Moscow and have since played not only in Russian commercial venues but also in underground gay parties in a country notorious for its anti-gay laws.

July 21, 2014

Oscar winning screenwriter was en route to London from Shanghai with boyfriend Tom Daley

Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black tweeted it was 'scary as hell' as the Virgin Atlantic plane that he and boyfriend Tom Daley were passengers on made an emergency landing in Russia on Monday.

July 21, 2014

Gay Olympic diver has his fans terrified after his plane dumps its fuel and makes an emergency landing in a Russian city

Olympic gay diver Tom Daley is in Russia after his plane landed there in an emergency.

The 20-year-old Brit landed in Irkutsk, a southeastern city close to the borders of Mongolia.

The athlete snapped a picture of the plane dumping its fuel shortly before it landed on the runway.

While it is impossible to speculate why the aircraft had to make an emergency landing, fuel dumps sometimes occur if the pilot suspects a fire.

Dumping the fuel can also be done to reduce weight.

July 18, 2014

Citing fears for their safety, and the welfare of their teenage son, the couple wants to live in a country where they will not be persecuted against because of their sexuality

A lesbian couple from Russia married in Buenos Aires, Argentina and are now seeking asylum there to escape Russia’s homophobic laws.

The couple, Marina Mironova, 38, and Oxana Tomofeeva, 36, wore matching outfits at their marriage ceremony at Buenos Aires City Civil Registry on 15 July.

The couple said living in Russia as a lesbian couple in the midst of increasing hostility towards the LGBTI community made them fear for their safety and the safety of their 16-year-old son.

July 12, 2014

Football's global governing body is given an epic fail in handling of slurs hurled during World Cup

Football's global governing body is under pressure by more than two dozen LGBTI and human rights organizations to take 'concrete action' on homophobia and anti-gay chants yelled in the stands during this year's World Cup.

July 10, 2014

The US singer reveals she covered a song by lesbian singers T.A.T.U at a Moscow concert, the day before Putin was to come on the same stage to make a speech

US singer Tori Amos has said she chose to cover a song by a famous lesbian duo, as anti-gay Russian leader Putin was scheduled to make a speech on the same stage.

Amos covered the song ‘Not Gonna Get Us’ by Russian lesbian pop duo t.A.T.u at a concert in Moscow last month, during her tour.

July 7, 2014

World's soccer governing body has been criticized for failing to tackle homophobia at the current World Cup being held in Brazil

FIFA has admitted Russia is so homophobic, the world soccer governing body will need a ‘special task force’ to deal with it at the next World Cup.

Jeffrey Webb, FIFA’s anti-discrimination chief, has said the organization will need to deploy staff specifically trained to tackle homophobic abuse the next time the world comes together to play football.

LGBTI fans have condemned the body for failing to tackle homophobic and racist abuse properly at the World Cup in Brazil.

July 7, 2014

Government issues a statement claiming the Anti-Homosexuality Act is not anti-gay, but is instead intended to protect children

The Ugandan government has released a statement on the Anti-Homosexuality Act, claiming it is not anti-gay.

Not getting the clue from the law’s title, Ugandan officials have taken a page from Russia’s book to say the law is about protecting children – not hunting down homosexuals.

The statement claims it was ‘misinterpreted as a piece of legislation intended to punish and discriminate against people of “homosexual orientation”, especially by our development partners.'

June 28, 2014

Sir Ian McKellen tells Gay Star News events like this prove the future is safe for generations of LGBTI people to come

Defiant against torrential rain and recent homophobic attacks, London has put on one of the biggest and best Gay Prides in years.

With an estimated half a million LGBTI people and their allies braving the summer downpour, the UK capital marched to fight for freedom today (28 June).

The British capital is celebrating a few months after the first gay couples have got married in England and Wales, with Scotland not too far behind.

June 25, 2014

On a visit to Vienna, the Russian president said he will look at the homophobic legislation and 'improve' it in the future

Vladimir Putin has said he will look at the homophobic laws in Russia and ‘improve’ them in the future.

The Russian president was in Vienna to meet with Austrian President Heinz Fischer to make a deal on a pipeline that will reportedly pump half of Russia’s gas supply to Europe from 2016.

At a press conference, he was forced to answer questions on human rights abuses in Russia.

‘There are stereotypes that exist regarding Russia, including on issues of sexual minorities, to a large extent…[are] a fictional idea,’ he said.

June 23, 2014

Shocking polls have previously revealed that Russians are overwhelmingly in favor of the 'gay propaganda' law, with 5% even saying LGBT people should be 'exterminated'

Russians would prefer to see nudists in public than trans people, according to new research.

Only 8% of people were ‘sympathetic’ or ‘tolerant’ of seeing a trans person, polling organization the Levada Center told Gay Star News.

The highest support went up to 10% for people aged between 18 and 24.

With nudists, support was marginally higher with an average of 18% saying they were sympathetic or tolerant.

33% had no opinion on naturists, with only 23% having a neutral view on tran people.

June 19, 2014

Mexico, Brazil, Russia and Croatia could have their World Cup career in jeapordy over fans' behavior at matches

FIFA has started disciplinary proceedings against four countries after alleged homophobic chants by their fans during their World Cup matches.

In a statement, FIFA said the inquiry was launched after what they described as ‘improper conduct’ by fans from Mexico, Brazil, Russia and Croatia.

At one game, Mexican fans shouted ‘puto’ at games against Cameroon and Brazil. In the latter match, Brazilians then responded by chanting the slur back at Mexico.

June 19, 2014

Activists say teachers can be fired because, by being out, they are being ‘political’ in the face of 'gay propaganda' laws

A Russian lecturer has said he was fired for being gay.

Oleg Kluenkov claims he was dismissed from his position at Northern (Arctic) Federal University over his activism work in Russia and abroad.

He was sent a dismissal letter from university officials ‘for being absent from work without excuse’.

It referenced his trip earlier this year in February, when he travelled to the United States to spread the word about LGBTI activism about Russia.

He had no classes at the time.

June 18, 2014

Similar to Russia's own anti-gay laws, the European Union has described it as one of the most sweeping homophobic draft laws in the world

A Kyrgyzstan human rights group has passed a ‘gay propaganda’ bill in parliament.

The bill, similar to Russia’s own anti-gay law, will make it illegal to spread information about ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ in the former Soviet country.

This means it will be a crime for anyone to discuss anything related to LGBTI people in public spaces either through the media, or by organizing public events to discuss human rights.

Those found guilty will be punished with fines and up to six months in prison.

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.

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.

June 4, 2014

‘The British consulates can do whatever they want,’ a Russian lawmaker has said. ‘They can marry monkeys and register perverts for all I care’

Gay couples are now allowed to marry in the British consulates of several anti-gay countries, including Russia.

The Foreign Office has allowed British nationals and their partners to marry in countries that do not have same-sex marriage.

In June last year, Vladimir Putin signed a law banning the ‘propaganda’ of homosexuality to children.

This has led to several arrests, expression has been stifled and an increase in homophobic and transphobic attacks.

June 3, 2014

Peter Purton, LGBT policy officer for the Trade Union Congress, looks at the evolution and current state of homophobia in schools, work and sport

It’s easy to think how good things are for LGBT people in Britain today, particularly when compared to Russia, with Putin’s law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’, or Uganda, Nigeria, or Brunei, where the government just introduced stoning to death for adulterers and those caught having homosexual relations.

Here in Britain we can now get married!

May 29, 2014

19-year-old John Fennell, who competed in the luge at the Sochi Winter Olympics, has come out as gay and spoken about what it felt like being a gay athlete in Russia

19-year-old Olympic luger John Fennell has come out in an interview with the Calgary Herald, revealing he came out to his team mates in Russia before he came out to his parents.

Fennell revealed that he only came out during the Sochi games and that he had been so afraid of running afoul of Russia’s ban on so-called propaganda of homosexuality to minors he left his mobile phone and laptop at home.

May 29, 2014

Five college students, aged between 18 and 22, lured their 25-year-old victim on a gay dating site in an attempt to rob and extort money from him

A gay man in Russia was kidnapped at gunpoint and nearly died in a horrific homophobic attack, it was reported today (29 May).

A Chelyabinsk court heard how five college students, aged between 18 and 22, lured their 25-year-old victim on a gay dating site in an attempt to rob and extort money from him.

The students told the gay man they didn’t want his money, but to ‘cleanse the society of gays’, according to the victim’s testimony.

At gunpoint, they went in the victim’s car to a nearby lake.

May 27, 2014

‘We are not Mordor. We are not a place of evil’, a top Russian doctor says about false claims

Some Russians might think tattoos are a sign of being gay, or one drag queen will lead to the end of Europe, but there is one story that has gone too far.

A top doctor has slammed a false report claiming researchers in Russia have invented a ‘vaccine’ for homosexuality.

May 27, 2014

Lord Browne, who was forced to quit as CEO after it was revealed he was in a relationship with another man, says he now hopes to live long enough to see a gay Prime Minister

British companies should be sending gay employees to work in Russia, the former BP boss has said.

Lord John Browne, who was forced to stand down from the oil giant for having a relationship with a male prostitute, said firms must be doing more to champion gay rights.

The 66-year-old has said businesses must work in anti-gay countries as it could change attitudes.

May 17, 2014

Thugs threw stones and eggs in an attempt to stop the rally, but it could not stop rainbow balloons from being released into the sky

Hundreds of Russian gay rights activists braved threats of violence to hold a peaceful protest in the city of St Petersburg today (17 May).

With around 200 armored policemen surrounding the group, there was one officer for nearly every single person participating in the rally.

The people gathered in a square holding placards calling for peace, love, diversity and tolerance.

May 14, 2014

‘However bad the situation, we are ready to defend our human dignity and rights, to speak against violence and stand with activists all over the world’

The situation for LGBTI people in Russia is getting more and more complicated.

Human rights violations, hate crimes and speeches and state-sponsored homophobia have become a part of day-to-day life of LGBTIs and those who speak out for equal rights for everyone.

But despite this, there is defiance. We are planning various actions devoted to International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on 17 May. There will be activity in at least 11 Russian cities.