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Newspaper Accused of Violating Russia's 'Gay Propaganda' Law for Reporting on Fired Gay Teacher

A Russian newspaper has been accused of violating the ban on "gay propaganda" for reporting the news, The Guardian reports:

YermoshkinThe state's media watchdog, the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service (FMMIS), sent the editor-in-chief of the Molodoi Dalnevostochnik a notice claiming the item propagated homosexual relations.

It followed a report in the paper, based in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk, that included an interview with geography teacher Alexander Yermoshkin about the circumstances of his dismissal (see details in this Moscow Times article).

After a complaint, the regional branch of the FMMIS launched an investigation. One of its officials, Galina Yegoshina, pointed to a quote by Yermoshkin: "My very existence is effective proof that homosexuality is normal."

She said: "This statement goes against logic. By offering it to underage readers, the author is misleading them about the normality of homosexuality."

The Moscow Times report about the teacher is equally horrific:

Yermoshkin, 38, had for years been holding "rainbow flash mobs" on Khabarovsk's central Lenin Square in his time away from teaching geography to eight-graders. He had never been bothered by the authorities in either endeavor.

But a few days before the start of the 2013 school year, he was told that his 18-year career as a teacher would be terminated due to a letter signed by 678 residents of Khabarovsk, representing a group called the Movement Against Sexual Perversions. The group asked for Yermoshkin to be fired from his school because he could exert a negative influence on the children and make them think that "nontraditional relations are as normal as traditional ones."

"The government in Moscow sent a signal that was interpreted by local people," Yermoshkin said with a sardonic grin, speaking in an interview at a local intelligentsia hangout called Book Cafe.

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  1. This is why we are wise to "propaganda". We know "propaganda" isn't being used to protect anyone. It's being used to punish and degrade a specific group of people.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Nov 14, 2013 8:15:02 AM

  2. I'm wondering if other newspapers that report on this report will also be charged?

    Posted by: Will | Nov 14, 2013 8:54:15 AM

  3. Russia is stank

    Posted by: Poe | Nov 14, 2013 9:02:31 AM

  4. Are we surprised by this story? Do we need more and more and more proof that the Russian government is homophobic and takes retribution against its own citizens? Is Russian now the USSR 2.0? Is this not proof positive that Russian does not have an ENDA law to protect its GLBT citizens? Oh, wait, neither does the US!!!

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Nov 14, 2013 9:04:22 AM

  5. This story, among many other things, points to the power of "anti-propaganda" laws to prevent the spread of "inconvenient" news, to silence those who would speak out, to punish those who do so, to encourage mob action, and to validate a witch-hunt mentality.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Nov 14, 2013 9:09:47 AM

  6. You can't compare Russia to the USA, to do so would make you a complete retard.

    Posted by: plucky 2.0 | Nov 14, 2013 9:09:58 AM

  7. I find that I hate Russia more and more as time progresses.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Nov 14, 2013 9:18:19 AM

  8. Welcome to Nazi Russia.

    Posted by: Sean | Nov 14, 2013 12:54:34 PM

  9. Russia wants to be thought of as European pretty badly--but not badly enough. Barbarians.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Nov 14, 2013 1:18:42 PM

  10. As I said from the very beginning: with such a law you can not report even a genocide in the making. Witty way to go for a pogrom. Yeap.

    Posted by: SAYTHETRUHT | Nov 14, 2013 6:41:06 PM

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