Russian Editor’s Failure to Censor Openly Gay Teacher Costs Him $1,400
January 30, 2014 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
The chief editor of the Khabarovsk newspaper was fined 50,000 roubles ($1,400 dollars) yesterday under Russia’s anti-LGBT “propaganda” law for printing an interview with a geography teacher who, in September, was fired for being gay.
According to the prosecutor, Alexander Suturin’s decision to run the teacher’s statement, “My very existence is proof being gay is normal.,” breaks “traditional family values” and promotes “genderless and fruitless so-called tolerance.”
Suturin is fourth person officially charged with violating the anti-LGBT propaganda” law, despite President Putin's claims that gays and lesbians are not discriminated against in Russia.
Under the guise of protecting children from "homosexual propaganda," the law imposes fines or jail time on citizens who disseminate information that may cause a "distorted understanding" that LGBT and heterosexual relationships are "socially equivalent." The fines are significantly higher if such information is distributed through the media or Internet.
Suturin is the latest in a line of victims of the government-sponsored anti-LGBT crusade and crackdown on freedom of expression.
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