Russian Newspaper Accused of Violating ’Homosexual Propaganda’ Law
Officials from a newspaper in Russia have come under fire for allegedly breaking the country's highly controversial "homosexual propaganda" law, the British newspaper the Guardian reports.
Russia's media watchdog, the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, sent a notice to the editor-in-chief of the Molodoi Dalnevostochnik for breaking the anti-gay law, after the newspaper published a news story about a teacher who was fired because he is gay.
In the news story, the paper followed geography teacher Alexander Yermoshkin, who resides in the eastern city of Khabarovsk, and explored the reasons why he was fired from his position. But the FMMI apparently took issue with the newspaper's coverage, launching an investigation against the publication. One of the organization's officials, Galina Yegoshina, cited a quote by Yermoshkin.
"My very existence is effective proof that homosexuality is normal," he told the Molodoi Dalnevostochnik. In response to that quote, Yegoshina said, "This statement goes against logic. By offering it to underage readers, the author is misleading them about the normality of homosexuality."
The newspaper's editor-in-chief responded to the notice and argued that the article showed the negatives of being an out gay man in Russia and cited constitutional previsions outlawing discrimination. He also told Yegoshina he could write a column for the newspaper.
Those who are found guilty of breaking the "homosexual propaganda" law can be fined up to 100,000 rubles ($3,055.70 U.S.) but organizations and companies, like the Molodoi Dalnevostochnik, can be slapped with a more substantial fine and be forced to close for 90 days, the Guardian reports.
EDGE reported on Yermoshkin's firing and other Russian teachers who were allegedly let go from their positions over their sexual orientation. You can read this article here.