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Russian Government Takes Revenge on Lesbians Who Kiss-Trolled Anti-Gay Politician

Milonov

In early February we reported on a pair of lesbians who found themselves on a plane with Russia's leading anti-gay politician Vitaly Milonov, and decided to troll him by capturing him in a photo in which they were kissing. They then posted the photo to social media where it went viral.

The couple owns Infinity, a lesbian nightclub in St. Petersburg.

MilonovNow, the action has cost them in a big way, Global Voices reports:

Milonov didn’t find the stunt very amusing, however. He called the girls “crazy little morons” and said he was “ashamed for their parents, who raised such idiots.”

Two days later, on February 3, an anti-gay online community based in Moscow and St. Petersburg published a call to get Infinity closed down. The group posted instructions and a scripted complaint to be sent to the district attorney, demanding that police shut down the lesbian nightclub. Community members were also encouraged to appeal to Roskomnadzor, Russia’s state-run media watchdog, and federal anti-drug agents, based on claims that Infinity opens its doors to minors and operates as a center for illegal drug use.

The anti-gay group, called Moscow Isn’t Sodom and Petersburg Isn’t Gomorrah, claims that at least 524 of the club’s 30,000 VKontakte community members are underage, making the “propagation of homosexuality” a federal crime. Access to Infinity’s VKontakte group is restricted to members, making it difficult to verify accusations that it caters to minors.

Those who want the nightclub shut down are instructed to convey their concerns to police. “I have every reason to believe,” the scripted complaint reads, “that the promotional activities carried out at the lesbian club Infinity pose a serious threat to the physical and mental health of minors who manage to enter the establishment.”

Infinity was raided as a direct result of the kissing selfie. Whether or not the club will be shut for good is not clear.


Founder Of Russian LGBT Teen Support Group Fined For Violating 'Gay Propaganda' Law

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The founder of Russia's version of the "It Gets Better" campaign has been fined 50,000 rubles for violating the country's "gay propaganda" law.

Journalist Elena Klimova (above), founder of the Children 440 group on the Russian social network VKontakte, was fined the equivalent of $775, BuzzFeed reports

Klimova launched the group shortly before Russia passed its anti-gay law in 2013. The name Children 404 is a reference to the “Page Not Found” online server error.

Most users who post photos on the site obscure their faces and include the message, "We exist." They also share stories and can interact with volunteer psychologists who offer counseling.

BuzzFeed reports on Thursday's hearing: 

LGBT activists said that Klimova’s lawyer could not attend today’s hearing for medical reasons and she was left without counsel when the judge declined to postpone the proceedings.

“Today the court has violated the article 48 of the Russian Constitution, according to which everyone shall be guaranteed the right to qualified legal assistance,” Maria Kozlovskaya, a lawyer with the Russian LGBT Network, said in a statement. “We are going to challenge this decision at all levels including the European Court on Human Rights.”

View photos from Children 404's Facebook page and watch a trailer for the film about the campaign, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

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Russian Teacher Fired for Being Gay Plans To Fight Her Termination

St. Petersburg

A young woman in St. Petersburg lost her job as a music teacher for special education students exclusively for her sexual orientation after being outed to her superiors by homophobic activist Timur Isaev, a mouth-breathing troglodyte who wants to make living in Russia "hell" for all gay people. However, according to LGBTI group Coming Out, the St. Petersburg educator is the first to fight her termination and defend her rights.

When given the opportunity to voluntarily quit or be fired for violation of Article 81 part 8 of the Labour Code of Russia - "Performing an immoral act by the employee in education that is incompatible with the continuation of such work" - despite holding several distinctions and awards for the excellence in employment, the unnamed woman chose to be fired.

She said of her love for teaching and her circumstances:

Working with children is a part of my soul. All these years I have given myself to the job I loved, nurtured the love of art and music in children. Taking into account the abilities of our children, who have moderate or severe delays in mental development, I have tried to make each lesson interesting, bright, and encouraging.

I was fired because someone thinks my sexual orientation harms children. This is not supported by any law and I have not done anything wrong. I am determined to seek justice to the end!

Coming Out is providing legal support to the young woman and will seek recognition of the discriminatory nature of her dismissal in court.


Anti-gay Russian Lawmaker Vitaly Milonov Prepares Bill Targeting Same-Sex Marriage Loophole

St. Petersburg politician Vitaly Milonov is drafting a bill to eradicate a loophole in Russia's same-sex marriage ban after lesbian couple Irina Shumilova and Alyona Fursova tied the knot last Friday, reports Pink News.

Picture 6Russia's marriage laws don't recognize transgender identities and classify Russian citizens strictly by their sex at birth. Bride Irina Shumilova [middle], who was born male and now identifies as a woman, took advantage of the oppressive law and married her wife in a Russian registrars office while both wore wedding gowns.

Milonov called the clever move the couple pulled an "ugly insult to millions of Russian families" and announced Thursday that he plans on crafting a bill to eliminate the loophole.

Milonov told Russian newspaper The Izvestia his reasoning behind his new oppressive bill:

Milonov"At present… there is a dress code by which everyone must abide when visiting state institutions. Therefore, one should not dress inappropriately when visiting (any) event associated with a change in one’s civil status.

"It’s a matter of culture and education… We will not allow people dressed in clothes [associated] with the opposite sex or beach clothes to register their marriage at the registry office. Except for when that clothing is an element of their culture or of ethnic origin."

Milonov is also calling for Apple CEO Tim Cook to be banned from entering Russia over fears that he would bring AIDS or Ebola into the country. St. Petersburg was the first city in Russia to pass an ordinance banning "Gay propaganda," with the rest of the nation following suit modeling and passing similar legislation based on the city's ordinance.  

Shumilova and Fursova are not the first couple to circumvent Russia's same-sex marriage ban, however. In August, couple Allison Brooks and Alina Davis bypassed the law as well because Davis identifies as androgyne, but the Russian government considers Davis as male reports Pink News. Both wore wedding dresses when they signed the application papers even though registrars asked them not to.


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 vt.com]


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

Zefs

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...

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