Lena Klimova, the founder of an online community for LGBT teenagers in Russia has been fined under the country’s law against gay propaganda.
She was fined 50,000 roubles ($840 / £540) by a court in Nizhny Tagil concluded that Deti-404, which has pages on Facebook and Russian social network VK, was guilty of distributing “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors”.
Klimova said she would appeal against the ruling. She has already successfully appealed against a fine levied by a court in the same town in January.
Klimova website encourages young people to share experiences on how it feels to grow up as an LGBTI person. It is a much-needed resource, with teens forced to live under the strict ‘gay propaganda’ law that bans the promotion or discussion of homosexuality to children.
Over the past 18 months, Klimova has come under pressure for her website. In a 2014 charge filed by Vitaly Milonov, the politician that spearheaded the gay propaganda law, he demanded the social worker and journalist be fined, and her website shut down.
In November, Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor said it had received more than 150 complaints from ‘citizens and organizations’ calling for the closure of Children-404.
Klimova called the country’s anti-gay laws ‘harmful’ and ‘ridiculous’, accusing the authorities of failing to provide support for LGBTI teenagers.
This court ruling is just the latest to find the social worker ‘guilty’.
Reacting this week, Klimova said:
It helps to see how many good people around. It helps not to fall into the abyss.”
She also posted a drawing a young girl, who she called Unicorn, of her as a gay rights superhero.
Unicorn you made my day. All I need to do is get knee-high gold boots and a huge red cape and it will be exactly me. Thank you for the drawing! =)”