Melon Farmers Original Version

Gay in Russia

Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights


A war on freedom...

Russian censors inflict extensive TV cuts on western programming with significant gay content

Link Here28th February 2023
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
Russian viewers watched the HBO's hit series The White Lotus in the only officially available format via streaming platform Amediateka. The platform severely censored the second season of The White Lotus to comply with repressive Russian law banning gay content.

Scenes were removed, lines of dialogues were purposefully mistranslated in dubbing and Russian subtitles (eg We're all gays here ,became We're all men here ) and the bare buttocks of actor Leo Woodall were covered with a poorly photoshopped blanket, even though featuring in a straight scene.

HBO's Euphoria was also edited in similar ways by Amediateka with nearly two hours' worth of content cut out of the series' second season.

Viewers also discovered that the translation of Sex and the City was tweaked, replacing the word gay with boy , while several scenes were completely cut out.

An amended anti-gay law was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin at the end of last year. It is a more severe version of 2013's law that saw the country outlawing 'LGBT propaganda' and depictins of LGBT behaviour among children under 18 (i.e., holding hands in public, men wearing colourful nail polish, kissing).

After December 2022 all kinds of LGBT propaganda are considered illegal. The list includes untraditional sexual relationships and gender reassignment. Lawmakers are still working on the list of further criteria for proclaiming a work illegal,' and it will come into effect in September.

Russia's internet censor Roskomnadzor has also issued its own list of movies and TV shows that were to be removed from all the legal streaming platforms including Call Me By Your Name , Brokeback Mountain , the first season of The Sex Lives of College Girls and several episodes of This Is Going to Hurt .



Railing against the decadent West...

Russia is legislating to ban all gay information

Link Here 27th October 2022
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
Current legislation in Russia bans providing or promoting gay information to children. Now this law is being extended to all adults.

Those convicted face large fines for promoting what Russia calls non-traditional sexual relations.

The law extension was framed as part of a broader battle over civilisational values with the decadent West and linking it to the decision to invade Ukraine.

Under the proposal, information about non-traditional lifestyles or the rejection of family values would be considered legally the same as pornography, the promotion of violence, or stoking racial, ethnic and religious tensions. Another element of the extensions prohibits information which might cause minors to desire to change their sex, a reference to transgender people.

The law will allow any information on the internet discussing LGBT topics to be blocked and films deemed to contain positive depictions of being gay to be banned. The wide-ranging ban also extends to advertising and books - both non-fiction and literature - raising censorship concerns from publishers, who have warned of the risk that it could even affect classics of Russian literature.

The head of Russia's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has also backed the new legislation.

The bill has broad support but will first be approved by the upper house of the Russian parliament.



Toxic proposals...

Russian proposals to treat all the depictions of gay relationships as restricted pornography

Link Here3rd December 2021
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
A powerful Russian MP known for homophobic statements and projects has proposed a bill that would classify all depictions of LGBTQ+ relationships in the same banned or restricted categories as pornography.

Vitaly Milonov -- a member of Vladimir Putin's governing United Russia party, and deputy chairman of the Federal Assembly's Committee on Family Affairs, Women and Children -- said that people should have the right to ask the state's regulator to not allow the broadcast of films with LGBTQ+ content.

The announcement coincided with another Russian official's disclosure that he had prepared a catalogue of toxic content, using a system that labels content from completely banned to simply undesirable. Igor Ashmanov, a member of Russia's Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, revealed that he had developed a catalogue to mark so-called 'toxic content' on the internet.

The resource, Ashmanov said, would flag topics such as radical feminism [and] 'child-free' lifestyles, as well as the promotion of homosexuality and bestiality.



The Soul of a Pillow...

Russian government bans plays for going against traditional gay hating moral values

Link Here13th June 2014
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
A children's puppet show has been banned from Russia's prime book festival over claims it promotes homosexuality, a news report said. culture news website published an open letter from the Culture Ministry, demanding the organizers of the festival to pull The Soul of a Pillow by Olzhas Zhanaidarov from their program.

The play tells the story of a friendship between a pillow, and a boy in a kindergarten.

The ministry also condemned the adult play Herbivores by Maxim Kurochkin, citing its use of expletives. First Deputy Minister Vladimir Aristarkhov spouted: The content of both plays goes against the traditional moral values of Russian culture.

The ministry has no formal authority to ban the works, but said it would pull its name from the festival if the plays remain listed.

Both plays will be rebooked to run at an independent venue, said, organizer of the showings.



Update: Propaganda Coup...

Moscow predictably bans March of the Bearded Women and Men

Link Here19th May 2014
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
Moscow's security department denied an application for the Conchita Wurst March of Bearded Women and Men, which was due to have taken place to mark the 21st anniversary of homosexuality's legalisation in Russia.

Wurst, the drag queen persona of Austria's Thomas Neuwirth, has become an icon for Europe's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and a flashpoint for Russia's debate over gay rights.

Nikolay Alexeyev, founder of Moscow Pride told Pravda that they plan to urgently appeal the mayor's decision; even if unsuccessful, they will try to merge the event with a proposed gay pride parade on May 31. They face an uphill battle: in 2012, Moscow city government enacted a 100-year ban on pride marches.

Russia's anti-gay protesters have been campaigning against Eurovision for weeks, calling it a Europe-wide gay parade . The participation of the obvious transvestite and hermaphrodite Conchita Wurst on the same stage as Russian singers on live television is blatant propaganda of homosexuality and spiritual decay, said St Petersburg's notorious legislator Vitaly Milonov, who led the drive for Russia's anti-gay laws banning gay information from public speheres.



Update: Anti-Gay Propaganda...

Russian newspaper fined for quoting a teacher who said that gay sex is normal

Link Here3rd February 2014
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
A Russian court has fined a newspaper editor for publishing an interview with a gay school teacher who was quoted as saying homosexuality is normal.

Alexander Suturin, editor of the Molodoi Dalnevostochnik, a weekly published in the city of Khabarovsk, was ordered to pay a fine of 50,000 rubles (£870) for supposedly publishing gay propaganda .

The prosecutor claimed that the statement: My very existence is effective proof that homosexuality is normal, goes against logic. She said:

By offering it to underage readers, the author is misleading them about the normality of homosexuality.

Suturin is to appeal against the ruling.



Update: PC Propaganda in Sweden Banned as Gay Propaganda in Russia...

Ikea magazine article about lesbian couple pulled from Russian edition

Link Here 22nd November 2013
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
Swedish furniture retailer IKEA says it has pulled an article about a lesbian couple in the Russian edition of its customer magazine because that would have contravened that county's law on gay propaganda.

IKEA spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson says the story about the couple living with their child in London appeared in the December print edition of its club magazine and was available for customers in 25 markets worldwide, but not in Russia.

Magnusson said that IKEA was not able to publish the article because Russian law has restrictions regarding promoting homosexual relationships.



Update: A Chilling Winter's Journey...

Russian anti-gay law has a chilling effect on gay filmmaking

Link Here14th September 2013
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
Russia's anti gay 'propaganda' law is having wide and chilling effects on gay film making.

Filmmakers of a film with the translated title of A Winter's Journey have found that the film has been effectively banned despite winning approval by Russia's film censors and winning two prizes at separate film festivals. The film tells the story of a gay classical singer falling in love with a street-smart petty criminal.

Director Sergei Taramayev told AFP he was saddened it could not be shown at the Kinotavr film festival  after receiving such high critical acclaim. He said:

For the organisers of the festival it was uncomfortable, because there is such a law, so they thought it was better not to get involved.

At least people who were in the jury told us that this was the reason why we were not accepted for Kinotavr.

The film's co-writer Lyubov Lvova said festivals feared they could lose funding if they showed the film:

At many festivals, Russian ones, this scared the organisers a lot. They were afraid of this law, that it could stop them getting financing for their festivals.

Taramayev said they did not even submit the film to Russia's main film forum, Moscow International Film Festival, because of its anti-gay organiser, Nikita Mikhalkov. He said:

He supports the government's line and is a very political director and we realised that they would not take us.

Producer Mikhail Karasyov wrote in an email to AFP:

As for a cinema release, at the moment we are holding talks, but so far there is nothing concrete.



Update: Putin Pretty in Pink...

Police censor art exhibition poking fun at Putin, Medvedev, and the originator of anti-gay legislation

Link Here28th August 2013
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
A painting depicting politicians Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev in women's underwear was one of the items Russian authorities have physically censored by raiding a newly-opened St. Petersburg art gallery that had shown solidarity with Russia's gay-rights movement.

The off-beat gallery, known as the Museum of Authority, opened with an inaugural exhibit called The Rulers that featured paintings by artist Konstantin Altunin of Russian and international public figures.

Much of the inaugural exhibit was raunchy or politically-charged. One painting depicted St. Petersburg politician Vitaly Milonov, who spearheaded a local homophobic gay propaganda law that became the baseline for similar national legislation.

Milonov accompanied police at the gallery. Police seized the portrait of Mr. Milonov as well as the painting depicting Messrs. Putin and Medvedev in women's underwear.

Authorities also took two other works of art. One was a painting of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill with criminal-style tattoos mixing Soviet and religious iconography. The other was one of Yelena Mizulina, the Kremlin-allied Duma deputy and morality crusader who led the drive to pass Russia's gay propaganda law nationally. That painting was entitled The Erotic Dreams of Deputy Mizulina.



Update: Promoting Intolerance...

Russian parliament bans information about homosexuality from the public sphere

Link Here12th June 2013
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights

Russia's lower house of parliament, the Duma, has passed a law imposing heavy fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under 18.

The measure was passed unanimously and will become law when approved by the upper house and President Vladimir Putin, a virtual formality.

Under the new law, private individuals promoting homosexual behaviour among minors face fines of up to 5,000 roubles (£100; $155) while officials risk paying 10 times that amount. Businesses and schools could be fined up to 500,000 roubles.

A recent poll found that nearly half of Russians believe that the gay and lesbian community should not enjoy the same rights as other citizens.

Update: Signed into law

1st July 2013. See  article from

Russia s president, Vladimir Putin , has signed into law a measure that stigmatises gay people and bans giving children any information about homosexuality.



Update: Cleared of Non-Traditional Sexual Orientation Propaganda...

Russian court drops legal action against Madonna's gay related comments at a recent gig

Link Here 23rd November 2012
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights

Charges that Madonna broke a homophobic censorship ban in the Russian city of St Petersburg have been dropped.

Homophobic activists had tried to prosecute the US singer over accusations that she violated St Petersburg's law on the promotion of homosexuality among minors.

The nutter prosecution resulted after Madonna spoke out against the ban on stage and handed out pink bracelets. She also issued a message of support for the imprisoned LGBT-supporting feminist punk protestors of Pussy Riot.

The Trade Union of Russian Citizens demanded 6 million from Madonna and from the company that organised her show.

However on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported that the case had been dismissed by a St Petersburg court. Madonna did not attend the hearing, which had attracted intense media attention in Russia.

Elsewhere in Russia, regional lawmakers in Moscow rejected a homophobic censorship law similar to St Petersburg's. The failed bill attempted to outlaw: non-traditional sexual orientation propaganda to minors.



Update: A Century of Repression...

Russia's top court upholds 100 year ban on Moscow gay pride marches

Link Here28th August 2012
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights

Moscow's top court has upheld a ban on gay pride marches in the Russian capital for the next 100 years.

Earlier Russia's best-known gay rights campaigner, Nikolay Alexeyev, had gone to court hoping to overturn the city council's ban on gay parades. He had asked for the right to stage such parades for the next 100 years.

He said he would now go back to the European Court in Strasbourg to push for a recognition that Moscow's ban on gay pride marches - past, present and future - was unjust.

The Moscow city government claims that the gay parade would risk causing public disorder and that most Muscovites do not support such an event.

In September, the Council of Europe will examine Russia's response to a previous European Court ruling on the gay rights issue, Russian media report.



Update: No Pride in St Petersburg...

Gay Equality organisation will take the anti-gay authorities of St Petersburg to the European Court of Human Rights

Link Here15th July 2012
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights

An organization of St. Petersburg gay rights activists has filed a complaint against the city's authorities with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, local media has reporte.

The Ravnopravie ('Equality') organization has appealed to the Strasbourg court to rule against the city's ban of a gay pride parade in June 2011 and described the authorities' actions as disguised discrimination.

Despite the ban, a small group of gay rights activists staged an unsanctioned rally on June 25, 2011 and 14 of them were detained and convicted of administrative violations.

The Ravnopravie organization also intends to appeal against the authorities' decision to revoke their permission to hold a gay pride rally planned for July 7, 2012.

St. Petersburg's Legislative Assembly passed a law penalizing the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors in late February. It came into effect on March 11. The so-called Gay Propaganda law imposes fines of up to $16,000 on individuals and up to $160,000 on legal entities for the promotion of homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender practices among minors. The new legislation outlaws Gay Pride events.



Update: One Hundred Years Behind the Times...

Moscow imposes a 100 year ban on gay pride parades

Link Here 13th June 2012
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights

Human Rights First condemns the Tverskoy District Court ruling to uphold the decision of Moscow authorities to ban gay pride parades in the city until May 2112. The Moscow City Hall has banned such events for seven consecutive years, citing numerous letters from public officials, religious organizations, and private citizens urging the authorities to prohibit a demonstration. The European Court of Human Rights pronounced these bans illegal in October 2010.

Human Rights First's Innokenty Grekov said:

This unprecedented ban is not entirely surprising, but Russia's society is evolving at a pace not even Vladimir Putin can control. More people are becoming accepting and tolerant to LGBTI persons. The 100-year ban, along with the discriminatory laws prohibiting promotion of homosexuality that are spreading through local legislatures, show that the Russian government remains behind the times.

It is regrettable that the new city government, led by Mayor Sobyanin, is repeating the mistakes of the disgruntled former mayor Luzhkov, whose vehemently antigay rhetoric and actions are well-known.


20th May

Petition: Russia: Drop Charges Against Gay Rights Activists!...

Petition against St Petersburg ban on gay information or support

17 gay rights activists were arrested at a May Day rally in St. Petersburg, Russia. The group that was detained were trying to unfold rainbow flags and raise posters. They were charged with failing to co-operate with police officers.

St. Petersburg recently passed a law that bans homosexual propaganda , becoming the 4th city in Russia to pass such a law. Politicians are attempting to pass similar legislation at a federal level, with pressure from the Russian Orthodox Church.

Please tell the Russian government to drop all charges against these gay rights activists -- who were simply fighting against discrimination and hatred -- and not pass a federal law that will severely hurt gay rights. 

...Sign the petition


13th April

Update: Repression is Normal...

Russians jailed for public display of placards saying 'Homosexuality is Normal'

Two Russian men have been arrested for illegally engaging in pro-gay propaganda, in the first-ever enforcement of a homophobic new law that bans making statements supporting homosexuality in public.

Police in St Petersburg arrested the pair as they were standing in a central district of Russia's second-largest city and holding up placards reading Homosexuality is normal. i

This St Petersburg law banning favourable comments about homosexuality is a shame. This law is absolutely discriminatory and it takes away the right to freedom of expression and assembly from citizens of non-traditional orientations, said Tatyana Lokshina, spokeswoman for the NGO Human Rights Watch.

Update: Fined

10th May 2012. See  article from

Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseyev has been fined 5,000 roubles (104 GBP) under a St. Petersburg law for spreading gay propaganda among minors. The fine was imposed after the court ruled that Alekseyev had spread propaganda about homosexual relations among minors when he held a sign in a public place last month that stated homosexuality was not a perversion. Alekseyev has pledged to appeal the ruling


26th March

Update: Causing a Commotion...

St. Petersburg councillor threatens arrest for Madonna if she speaks out against new anti-gay law

Madonna said in a Facebook posting that she plans to speak out against a new anti-gay law in St. Petersburg during her August 9 concert in the city. Now, it seems she could actually be charged under that same law.

The law, which took effect March 11, in part prohibits the propaganda of homosexuality among minors. Gay rights activists say it would criminalize reading, writing or speaking about gay, lesbian, or transgender people.

The bill's author, city assemblyman Vitaly Milanov, says he wants Madonna charged under the new law if she speaks out against it during her concert. He said he was willing to attend the show to control its moral content.

A group of Russian gay rights advocates plans to picket the concert, saying Madonna is cashing in on their struggle and urging her to cancel the show. The law will stay in force, Madonna will leave and the Russian LGBT-community will be humiliated even more, Nikolai Aleksev, the head of the LGBT advocacy group Gay Russia, wrote on his blog.

Other Russian gay rights groups disagreed with that tactic, and welcomed the attention the superstar had given to their cause. We consider that Madonna's visit and her address to millions of her Russian fans with words in support of freedom of expression for everyone will bring more good than a boycott would, said Igor Kochetkov, chairman of the Russian LGBT Network.


2nd November

Update: No Pride in Moscow...

Nutters rally against gay parades

A rally against gay parades, legalization of same-sex marriages and immorality propaganda gathered some 1,000 protesters on Bolotnaya Square in central Moscow.

The rally was organized by a number of Orthodox organizations and began with a prayer. Many people carried icons and signs reading We do not need gay parades! , A gay parade will never be held in Moscow , and others.

The rally followed the recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights that Moscow's ban on gay pride marches is illegal.

Vladimir Khomyakov, a co-chairman of the Narodny Sobor (People's Gathering) Orthodox organization, said, Despite the stories about our belligerent homophobia, we have never urged and are not urging to destroy gay clubs and attack gays. We have come to claim that the ECHR ruling is a gross interference in Russia's domestic affairs and a violation of the Russian constitution and international law.


5th October

Update: A Change of Orientation...

Moscow authorities lighten up over gay issues

Moscow police have detained several gay rights opponents at the first sanctioned gay rights protest in years, marking a sharp reversal of policy after last week's dismissal of the city's notoriously intolerant mayor.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov had compared gay people to the devil, and gay rights rallies in Moscow were forbidden. Many went ahead regardless and were violently dispersed under his leadership. He was fired this week after President Dmitry Medvedev said he had lost faith in him.

Two dozen activists protested Friday outside Swiss International Air Line's Moscow office against the carrier's alleged role in the kidnapping of the leader of Russia's gay rights movement, which sparked concern in Western Europe.

Nikolai Alexeyev is widely known in the international gay rights movement for his repeated efforts to organize parades in Moscow. Alexeyev alleges the airline removed him from a boarding gate at Domodedovo Airport at the behest of four unidentified men, not in uniform, who took him to a police station.

Alexeyev was to board a flight to Geneva but instead was taken to the nearby town of Kashira and, he told The Associated Press, insulted with all the slang words for homosexuals in the dictionary and commanded to withdraw complaints filed against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights

On Friday, Alexeyev and the other activists held aloft posters accusing the Swiss airline of complicity in kidnapping, while police arrested at least four protesters trying to sabotage their rally.

The police worked professionally, and we are thankful to them, said Alexeyev, who has been roughed up and detained several times by police in the past. They protected us.


12th February

Update: Russian Repression Paraded Before a Judge...

Gay pride organisers take Russia to the European Court of Human Rights

Organisers of last year's first-ever Moscow Gay Pride have today formally taken their case of the ban by the authorities in the Russian capital of both a parade and a picket to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

This follows the unsuccessful appeals against the bans through the Russian court system, which are now exhausted, as far as requirements of European Court's jurisprudence are concerned.

The organizers are considering appealing pride bans to the Russian Supreme Court parallel to their European Court application though it will not effect the consideration of the case in Strasbourg.

At the same time, Moscow Pride organisers announced that this year's Moscow Pride will definitely be going ahead, and that an application for a parade will be made in accordance with Russian law, two weeks before the event, scheduled for Sunday May 27, the day in 1993 when homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia.

The application to the European Court of Human Rights combines two cases: one concerning the ban by Moscow authorities of the gay pride march and the second concerning the banning of the alternative pride picket, both scheduled for May 27, 2006.

In the application, the litigants claim that in denying permission to stage both the march and the picket the Russian Federation breached Article 11 (right to freedom of peaceful assembly), Article 13 (right to effective court protection) and Article 14 (discrimination ban) in conjunction with Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Russia is a signatory.


5th December

Satanic Propaganda...

Moscow mayor continues to ban gay parades

Moscow's mayor, who has banned gay rights parades in the past, vowed Thursday to continue his ban on what he called sexual minority propaganda , according to Russian news agencies.

Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who has called homosexuality satanic , said City Hall has banned, and will continue to ban, the propaganda of the views of sexual minorities. Those views, he is quoted as saying, could become one of the factors for the spread of HIV.

City Hall has rejected repeated requests by public organizations to draw attention to gay rights with parades. Attempts by activists to defy the ban have ended violently in some cases and petered out in others.


4th June

Update: Not So Gay...

Moscow Gay Pride scaled down

Gay rights activists protested in defiance of a City Hall ban on Sunday, marching in front of the Moscow State Conservatory and unfurling a banner demanding greater rights for gays and lesbians from the window of an apartment on Tverskaya Ulitsa, just blocks from the Kremlin.

Dozens of activists from Gay Russia, led by organization head Nikolai Alexeyev, held a series of separate protests throughout the city to try to avoid exposing protesters to some of the violence that accompanied the larger gay pride parades in 2006 and 2007.

We wanted to make this pride [day] different from the last two years, Alexeyev said in English. We didn't want to have any more beatings in the street. We just want to show everyone that we are normal people.

City Hall rejected more than 100 requests by the group to hold their annual gay pride parade in May, citing security concerns. Mayor Yury Luzhkov is a fierce opponent of the parade and his office has denied every parade request since 2005, a move upheld as constitutional by the Moscow City Court in April 2007.

The protests were much more peaceful than in recent years. Despite the lack of violence, the mood on Sunday was hardly festive.

Screaming anti-gay protesters threw garbage and rotten eggs at the apartment on Tverskaya. One woman was detained after lifting a banner that said, Mr. President, stop these sodomites from leading us down to the path to death!

A massive security presence was visible early in the afternoon, as hundreds of regular officers and OMON riot police lined Moscow's main thoroughfare, blocking access to Tverskaya Ploshchad.

We're protecting the children, said a police officer, who refused to give his name. Do you think it's proper for [gays] to come out into the streets like this? Well, I don't.


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