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Leader of Russian Vigilante Group That Tortured Gays Gets Reduced Prison Sentence: VIDEO


Maxim Sergeyevich Martsinkevich, the leader of the virulently anti-gay Russian group "Occupy Paedophilia", who was previously sentenced by a Russian court to five years in a penal colony for acts of extremism has received a reduced sentence, according to BuzzFeed:

In August, a Russian court found Martsinkevich, who goes by the name Tesak, or “Machete,” guilty — not of attacking gay men, but of inciting ethnic and religious hatred for his statements about a Moscow race riot. The court sentenced him to five years in a labor camp. Today’s ruling reduces that time to just under three years.

Russian media reported that Martsinkevich’s sentence was adjusted on appeal because his crime of making extremist statements did not result in casualties. He previously served three and a half years under a prior conviction for extremism.

Martsinkevich had previously fled Russia to avoid prosecution, taking refuge in Cuba. However, he soon returned to Russia and was quickly arrested. Martsinkevich's anti-gay actions have been replicated by others in Russia, increasing the danger posed to LGBT Russians. 

Martsinkevich and "Occupy Paedophilia" became notorious for luring gay men and teens to meet them under the pretense of a sexual rendezvous only to torture them and post degrading videos of the attacks on social media.

Watch a disturbing and graphic report on Martsinkevich and his anti-gay group, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Anti-gay Russian Lawmaker Calls for Treason Charges Against St. Petersburg Clerks for 'Same-sex Wedding'

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Vitaly Milonov, the notorious St. Peterstburg lawmaker who championed Russia's anti-gay 'propaganda' ban last year, is furious about a 'same-sex wedding' that took place in the city on Friday, BBC reports:

MilonovThe couple, named as Irina Shumilova [above right] and Alyona Fursova, arrived at a registry office in St Petersburg, both wearing white bridal dresses and carrying bouquets.

They posted pictures of the ceremony on the Russian social media site Vkontakte.

Irina, who describes herself as transsexual rather than transgender, is still undergoing hormone therapy.

Mr Milonov - one of the most ardent supporters of the 2013 law - told Russian media the staff at the registry office should be tried for treason or criminal negligence.

He would seek the marriage's annulment to avoid "an ugly insult to millions of Russian families in the future", he added.

"There are certain moral standards which it is vital to implement," he said. "These mad people should be banned altogether from getting married."

Last month, after Tim Cook came out as gay, Milonov called for a lifetime travel ban on the Apple CEO. 

[top photo via]

Latvia's New Foreign Minister Comes Out Via Tweet: 'I Am Gay'

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The recently confirmed foreign minister of Latvia surprised the international community with a tweet this week in which he came out as a gay man. Edgar Rinkevics, 41, tweeted out the following a day after becoming the diplomatic representative for the small, democratic Baltic state which happens to share strong ties and a border with Russia. 

Rinkevic's tweet went out Thursday afternoon, was confirmed in a TV interview he gave that evening, and by Friday, had caused a stir in the formerly Soviet republic, with controversial pro-Russian activist Vladimir Linderman calling his statement "a political trend" and accusing him of "propagandizing a certain ideology." Rinkevics said he was inspired to be open about his sexuality as Latvia considers recognition of same sex partnerships.  What's also notable about the timing of his coming out is that Latvia is about to assume a six-month rotating leadership of the European Union, which will greatly raise the profile of the country as well as Rinkevic, who aims to campaign for legal status of same-sex partnerships.

While coming out via Twitter has become popular for some American celebrities, this seems to be the first time a major foreign official has used the social media service to do so. Rinkevic's announcement makes him the only out official in the Latvian government. 

[photo via screenshot]

A Russian Monument to Honor Steve Jobs Has Been Torn Down Because Tim Cook is Gay


In St. Petersburg, Russia, a memorial to the late Apple founder Steve Jobs which resembled a giant iPhone with a large screening and a QR code on the back has been taken down by ZEFS, the company which funded its erection in 2013, Business Insider reports:

Speaking in a press release sent to Russian media outlets, ZEFS chairman Maxim Dolgopolov explained that the memorial was torn down for two reasons: Tim Cook coming out as gay and Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA spying. (Snowden's documents suggest Apple products were used by the NSA to conduct surveillance.) He didn't rule out reinstalling the memorial, however, but said that it would only return if it could be modified to instruct Russian citizens to use products from companies other than Apple.

Apparently the Snowden revelations didn't warrant the monument's removal on their own since they happened months ago. ZEFS Chief Maxim Dolgopolov told Business FM Radio that because Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as gay, the monument now violates Russia's law banning gay "propaganda" to minors. He also urged users to switch to computer products that are not subject to surveillance (good luck).

Watch a video of the monument's unveiling in 2013, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "A Russian Monument to Honor Steve Jobs Has Been Torn Down Because Tim Cook is Gay" »

St. Petersburg Lawmaker Says Openly Gay Apple CEO Tim Cook Should Be Banned From Russia 'For Life'

Vitaly Milonov, the St. Petersburg lawmaker behind the city's anti-gay "propaganda" ban and the disruptions at last month's Queerfest, is now calling for a lifetime travel ban on Apple CEO Tim Cook, who came out publicly as gay earlier this morning.

Buzzfeed reports:

Milonov“What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there,” St. Petersburg city council member Vitaly Milonov told the FlashNord website on Thursday. “Ban him for life.” [...]

Milonov, an MP in St. Petersburg whose local “gay propaganda” ban became the basis for the controversial federal law passed last year, is an iPhone and iPad owner but recently declared that an iPhone 6 his “European homophobe friends” gave him was too vulnerable to U.S. spying for Russian officials to use.

Last year, Bloomberg reported that Apple's share of Russia's smartphone market was around the 8 percent mark, as the device is "too pricey for all but the wealthiest of the country's 143 million people"

Earlier this year, Apple was asked by Russian LGBT organizations to cut ties with Russian phone retailer Euroset following comments made by the company's creative director suggesting that gays deserved to be burned alive in furnaces

Russian Gay Activists File Complaint With European Court of Human Rights Over Banned Rally

AlexeyevA group of Russian gay rights rights activists has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The group made an application in October 2013 to hold an equal marriage rally in central Moscow. The request to hold the rally was denied, with officials citing the country’s laws banning "gay propaganda."

The group has attempted to appeal the decision, but it was to no avail. Moscow’s Tverskoy District court upheld the ban of the rally.

The activists hope to have more luck with the ECHR, where they will be citing the ECHR charter's Article 11 (the right to freedom of assembly and association). They will also cite Articles 13 and 14, which ensure the right to an "effective remedy" and forbidding of discrimination, respectively.

Russian LGBT rights activist, lawyer and journalist Nikolai Alexeyev (pictured) is working with the activists. Via Pink News, Alexeyev says that in the last year, there have been 90 similar applications go through the same process.  In addition to the "gay propaganda" law, police have pulled one from the Serbian playbook, citing  a risk of violence to ban the events.


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