A Russian court fines an LGBT rights activist 50,000 rubles for sharing ‘gay propaganda’ from BuzzFeed and The Guardian

Pro Gorod Samara

A judge in Samara has fined LGBT rights activist Evdokiya Romanova 50,000 rubles ($870) for violating Russia’s ban on so-called “gay propaganda.”

Earlier this summer, law enforcement charged Romanova with illegally spreading “gay propaganda” among minors by posting hyperlinks to several news stories about the LGBT movement, including articles by The Guardian and BuzzFeed.

In early October, a judge returned the case to police for further investigation. “There’s a good chance that the police will stop their investigation and close the case,” Romanova said at the time.

Russia’s ban on “gay propaganda” has been in place for four years now. In June 2013, over the objections of LGBT rights groups, the State Duma adopted a law prohibiting the dissemination of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual orientations among minors.”

Individual violators face a maximum fine of 100,000 rubles, legal entities can be fined up to 1 million rubles ($17,360), organizations can have their operations suspended for up to 90 days, and foreign citizens can be fined and deported. Since the law was enacted, before Romanova’s case, 15 Russians had been fined for spreading “gay propaganda” illegally.