Russian situation in schools and for LGBT youth deteriorates
So-called immoral behavior
The Russian situation of LGBT teenagers and of LGBT teachers has further been threatened in recent months. In December, a lesbian teacher was fired after accusations of so-called immoral action by a homophobic activist. In January, the founder of the LGBT youth website Children 404 was convicted of propaganda for non-traditional relations.
On January 23, journalist Elena Klimova, the founder of the online LGBT youth support group Chrildren 404 (http://deti-404.com/) was convicted of propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors. In 2013, Vitaly Milonov (the main author of the anti-LGBT law in St. Petersburg that became the basis for the national legislation) filed an official complaint against Children 404. However, that case was dismissed in February 2014. Despite this, Roskomnadzor (Russias state agency for media oversight) opened a new case against Klimova in November. Roskomnadzor charged that Children 404 could cause children to think that to be gay means to be a person who is brave, strong, confident, persistent, who has a sense of dignity and self-respect. Obviously the media institute meant that LGBT children are cowards, weak, insecure, lacks and without dignity but did not want to appear to be so abusive of children. Last month, Judge Lyudmila Pedan refused to postpone the January 23 hearing, even though Klimovas lawyer could not attend the hearing for medical reasons. The magistrates decision violated the Russian Constitution, which guarantees the basic right to qualified legal assistance. The judge declared Elena Klimova guilty of propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors, and fined her 50,000 rubles (approximately $750 US). Klimova plans to appeal the sentence.
Campaign against dissenters labelled as foreign agents
The conviction of Children 404 and the hunt for LGBT teachers are part of the accelerating campaign by bot the government and fascist gangs against independent voices in Russia, in including nongovernmental organizations, journalists, social media, and teachers that do not fit the ultra/orthodox view. In 2012 the Duma adopted a law requiring NGOs that accept funding from abroad to register as foreign agents. In January the Duma approved the first reading of new legislation banning undesirable foreign organizations altogether.
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