For the first time participants in actions aimed at the promotion of homosexuality among minors have been penalized in Russia’s Arkhangelsk Region, the regional prosecutor’s office reported on its website on Wednesday.
Laws penalizing “the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors” have been approved in several Russian regions (Ryazan Region, Kostroma Region, Arkhangelsk Region and in St. Petersburg), to mixed reactions among Russians, where anti-gay sentiment remains strong.
The prosecutors in Arkhangelsk argued that since passage of the law, social movement activists have repeatedly committed actions aimed at promoting homosexuality and “demonstrated the typical content of posters around the building of children’s library.”
One event organizer was fined 2,000 rubles ($68), and the other offenders (their number was not disclosed) were punished with fines of 1,800 rubles ($61).
Gay rights activists believe that the aim of protecting youth is just a smokescreen for banning all public events featuring homosexuals and other members of sexual orientation and have vowed to take the fight against the gay propaganda bans to the European Court of Human Rights.
Russia recently vetoed a statement of the G8 foreign ministers at the summit in Chicago concerning protections for sexual minorities.