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Kazakhstan ad agency fined over gay poster

Kazakhstan ad agency fined over gay poster

A Kazakh advertising agency has been fined for creating a poster for a gay club that sparked outrage last month.

A court in Almaty found Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan guilty of ‘advertising goods and services banned in Kazakhstan.’

The court on Wednesday ordered director Daria Khamitzhanova pay a $700 fine and her company a $1,000 fine.

The case was filed by Almaty youth authorities.

The ad, created for the Studio 69 club in the largest city Almaty, shows Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

The club is located on the corner of Kurmangazy and Pushkin streets.

The poster won a regional advertising award but sparked outrage in the Islamic country. The culture minister described the ad as ‘ugly’ and ‘non-human’ while a descendent of the composer demanded 1 million tenge ($5,500) in moral damages.

Kazakhstan legalized gay sex in 1998 but gay tolerance remains low.

Earlier this month a Kazakh politician calling for anti-gay ‘propaganda’ laws said gay men could be identified by blood testing for ‘degeneracy.’