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Russian LGBTQ activist faces ‘gay propaganda’ charges for the third time

Law enforcement in the Far Eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur have launched yet another administrative case against LGBTQ activist and artist Yulia Tsvetkova for “promoting non-traditional sexual relationships among minors.” Tsvetkova already has one case against her for violating Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda law,” and is facing up to six years in prison for the criminal distribution of pornography, over drawings she posted on social media.

On Facebook, Tsvetkova wrote that the case was launched over materials she published as part of the “Yes I will choose” (#DaVyberu) campaign, which was launched to support LGBTQ families after the release of a homophobic political ad promoting Russia’s recent constitutional plebiscite (YouTube moderators later deleted the video). Tsvetkova published drawings of LGBTQ people raising children on social media under the hashtag #DaVyberu (#ДаВыберу) at the beginning of June. 

This is the third administrative case opened against Tsvetkova under Russia’s “gay propaganda law.” In December 2019, she was fined 50,000 rubles (approximately $728) for publishing alleged “gay propaganda” on the Russian social network VKontakte. The second most recent administrative case was launched against her at the beginning of June, over a drawing that included the phrase “A family is where there is love. Support LGBT+ families!”

Yulia Tsvetkova has faced pressure from the authorities due to her art and activism for over a year. In June, she was charged with the criminal distribution of pornography over the publication of drawings of vaginas in an art group called the “Vagina Monologues,” which she ran on VKontakte. Tsvetkova was under house arrest from the end of November 2019 until March 16, 2020. She was charged in June.

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