Looking Out: Russian LGBT activists become first to be convicted under country's anti-gay law

LGBT-related news and commentary from around the web

By Michael Gold, The Baltimore Sun

3:41 PM EST, December 5, 2013


So while the Internet was going gaga over Tom Daley this week (more on that in a second), Russia reportedly made its first convictions under its controversial federal anti-gay law.

According to The Moscow Times, two LGBT activists were each fined about $120 Tuesday for holding a banner reading "Gay propaganda does not exist. People do not become gay, people are born gay" while demonstrating near a children's library in a coastal Russian city.

Both men — one of whom is Moscow Pride founder Nikolai Alexeyev were found in violation of Russian legislation approved in June that explicitly prohibits promoting "non-traditional sexual relations among minors." In the months since it was enacted, the law has received widespread criticism for being discriminatory and has sparked calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics being hosted in Russia this February.

Alexeyev has a track record of holding protests and pickets after being denied permits by Russian authorities, and the Moscow Times reports that he did the same here. And according to BuzzFeed, he has pledged to appeal his conviction in hopes of eventually bringing his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Given that Alexeyev is also the activist who tweeted in August that "Russia needs to re-criminalize homosexuality to make lazy Russian gays fight for their rights," he's probably up for the battle.

Now, feel free to take a break to Google pictures of Tom Daley before diving on to this week's other news: