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Could Russia’s Anti-Gay Laws

Feed a New HIV Epidemic?





Peter Tatchell Foundation


Russian teen project charged with

“gay propaganda"

Affirmative advice to LGBT youth

results in prosecution

Bid to close down Children-404

online support network

London & St Petersburg - 10 February 2014

“The Children-404 project is being prosecuted for “gay propaganda” because it provides sympathetic, supportive advice to isolated, bullied, ostracised, depressed and sometimes suicidal LGBT teenagers. There are demands for the online project to be closed down. This is another example of the sweeping, harmful way Russia’s new anti-gay law is being interpreted and enforced,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the London-based human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
Contact details below for Children-404 and for its partner organisation, the Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality.
A petition has been organised against the hounding of the Children-404 project:
A Valentine’s Day protest against Russia’s anti-gay law takes place this Friday, 14 February, 12 noon to 2pm, at the Russian Embassy in London. INFO:
News release on the victimization of Chidren-404 from the Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality in St. Petersburg, Russia:
The author and leader of the “Children-404” project, Lena Klimova, is accused of violating the "homosexual propaganda" ban. She is charged with creation of an online support community for Russian LGBT teenagers. The case is based on a complaint from Vitaly Milonov, member of the Saint Petersburg legislative assembly who sponsored the "propaganda" ban there. Milonov demands to fine Klimova and to close the project.
First, Ms. Klimova was summoned to a local police station in her home city of Nizhny Tagil on January 17 in order to give explanations in connection with Milonov’s complaint. Lena was summoned for the second time and an infringement notice was established.
According to the infringement notice, Ms. Klimova "had registered a web page propagandizing non-traditional sexual relations among minors, which took form of distribution of information among minors aimed at forming of non-traditional sexual affirmations, attraction to non-traditional sexual relations, distorted conceptions of social equality of traditional and non-traditional sexual relations."
Investigators see it as violation of the federal law "On protection of children from information harmful to their health and development". In their opinion, Ms. Klimova committed an administrative offense as described in p. 2 Art. 6.21 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation which forbids "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations."
The court hearings are to take place in 15-30 days.
Lena Klimova, a journalist from the city of Nizhny Tagil in the Urals, established the online community "Children-404" in March 2013. The project came to exist after she published an article about LGBT teenagers’ problems and began receiving constant messages from these teenagers. These letters where teenagers share their personal stories, sometimes very sad and bitter, tell about their problems, about bullying by peers and misunderstanding by parents, are posted on the project’s wall. At present, more than one thousand letters have been published.
"In light of general trends in the country, I am not surprised. But it is very sad that letters from LGBT teenagers themselves are called "homosexual propaganda among minors". It is absurd! Milonov, the complaint initiator, has two demands: to fine me and to close the group. If it will be closed, LGBT teenagers will lose the only place where they can openly speak about themselves and receive advice they need to live. It will be a catastrophe,” says Lena Klimova.
"Children-404" is a partner project of the Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality and we support it in every way. Because of the project leader persecution, we begin an open campaign to protect Russian LGBT teenagers and the "Children-404" project. We call upon communities and all people of good will to join us. We demand to stop the state-sponsored bullying of teenagers.
The Russian law declared LGBT teenagers and adults "socially unequal". Any support to LGBT teenagers is put outside the law. They can't be told the truth that they are normal. And now the state wants to shut their own mouths - to declare teenagers' letters criminal. And this is while Russia keeps the 1st place in Europe in teenage suicides. The state has initiated a targeted bullying of LGBT teenagers which threatens their lives, pushes them to suicide.
"At least every third LGBT teenager in Russia thought about suicide, and at least every fifth tried to commit suicide at least once," says Lena Klimova. "As reason for suicidal thoughts, teenagers name internal homophobia, physical and psychological abuse (including outing) from relatives and acquaintances. Most often suicidal thoughts arise if a teenager is lonely and has nobody to talk to and to trust. On the contrary, those with reliable friends or accepting parents almost never think about suicide", says Klimova.
The data is based on a survey of 293 teenagers that Lena Klimova conducted in July 2013.
Further information:
Lena Klimova: 
Children-404 project
Natalya Tsymbalova,
Coordinator, Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality (St. Petersburg, Russia)
+7906 2517 883
Straight Alliance for LGBT Equality:
Peter Tatchell
Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation
+44 (0) 207 403 1790



Our mailing address is:

Peter Tatchell Foundation
Studio 5, Disney Place House
14 Marshalsea Road
London, SE1 1HL
United Kingdom





Disturbing news from Russia tells that flyers are now being

posted encouraging people to denounce those they suspect

of spreading “gay propaganda” and that Russian officials

have started raiding the homes of human rights activists.


The home of prominent Russian LGBT rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev was raided by government officials this past week after an anti-gay lawmaker who had a key role in passing the national homosexual propaganda ban complained about comments Alexeyev had made and called for Alexeyev to be punished.              


A Reuters report captures the incident:

Alexyev is facing a criminal case on slander charges regarding alleged comments he made about State Duma Deputy Yelena Mizulina, a move that has been characterized as attempts to silence the campaigner.

Other reports have suggested that Russian landlords have begun posting signs encouraging neighbors of people they suspect to be gay to inform on them so that gay people can, in effect, be weeded out.

A copy of a poster seen by respected rights campaigner Melanie Nathan
, and originating from Rostov-on-Don,  a port city and the administrative center of Rostov Oblast, reads in part:

Please note, that propaganda of non-traditional relationship by such people can be determined non only directly, for example describing the advantage of living as a homosexual, offering you or members of your family to have sexual relationship with you; not only by unusual style of dressing or unnatural behavior but also propaganda can be started little by little, holding homosexual propaganda in house for several years.

Please remember, that homosexual can be dressed quite simply, he looks like you, he can be nice in communication and you can even know him.

Remember that homosexual doesn’t know the age limit and a person who does homosexual propaganda can be a person who just graduated from school or an old man.

Increase your vigilance when you talk with your neighbors, when you are checking your mail and in elevators. You can easily become a target of homosexual propaganda and there is a one step from being homosexual and to start propaganda of homosexualism  and molesting decent people.

The poster goes on to encourage people to call if they suspect anyone of so-called homosexual propaganda.

}It is believed that the city administration has had no hand in this and that it is not in any way an official notice, but to say that the so-called propaganda law has facilitated this kind of air of denunciation is not overstating the matter. Police are said to be investigating the incident.
In somewhat related news, police in Russia also recently seized from a St Petersburg art gallery a painting depicting President Vladimir Putin in women’s underwear combing the hair of Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s Prime Minister. The police seized in total four paintings, another of which depicted St Petersburg lawmaker Vitaly Milonov, a key architect of Russia’s propaganda laws, against a rainbow background.

The police have said that the paintings violate Russian laws, though precisely what legislation these works transgress has not been stated. The artist of the works, Konstantin Altunin, has reportedly fled to France in order to seek asylum.

Elsewhere, Russia’s propaganda law continues to earn criticism with activists applying further pressure to the sponsors of the forthcoming 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games which will be held in the Russian city of Sochi. Campaigners in New York have set their sights on Coca Cola, a main sponsor for the Games, pouring out bottles of the sugar laden drink into the streets.

Russian capital St Petersburg is set to host the G20 summit this coming week, with activists urging government officials to use this as an opportunity to apply pressure on Russian officials and have them stop Russia’s onslaught against its LGBT community and other minorities.

Read more:


Comment by JB:

I am reminded of the 1936 Olympics - better known as 'The Hitler Olympics' and where the Olympic Committee overlooked all breaches of human rights   Here we have a world super power abusing a minority group and to us - these days - this madness seems absurd but it is not that long ago we had Clause 28 here in the UK which was very anti gay in its stand against promotion of anything LGBT.   We have moved on and now have acceptance and equality - in law even if not in all the hearts and minds of some of the less aware that walk amongst us the people - but it has to start somewhere.  


I wanted to 'make a stand' for the LGBT community and sex workers during the filming of the '3 IN A  BED' programme Hamilton Hall was featured in and I am pleased to say,  we set a fine - a good and a thoughtful example that many thousands wrote to me afterwards and congratulated us on.  They saw - they heard - they were invited to be a part of a gay sex workers life for a few moments in time and that person that society would often have looked down on - 'the whore - the fag - '  showed them a different side of being a gay man and a sex worker - and many - MANY - completely changed their views on these topics as they had watched and learned some truths - from the horses mouth ( so to speak ) and changed their views and became AWARE - and ONLY through education - decent and honestly spoken education from those who know and feel and live and experience on a human level and not just from a book or course, and this is where changing the world for the better - starts.  

It just takes one person.


Recently I was asked to sign a petition concerning sex education in schools, which has not been updated for over a decade,  and I stated much the same thing there,   that honest and truthful input was required when writing the cirriculum and that some of the sex workers needed to be allowed to offer their input,  as we have a great deal of experience and from an educational point of view - no one can beat us.  Too many interferences from fucked up 'do gooders' - the church and repressed women cause so much harm - it beggars belief.
The witch hunt of paedophiles in the UK is rife - and everyone knew back in the early 1970's that Jimmy Saville was molesting children and the BBC had strict rules not to leave him alone on the set when children were around...  it was common knowledge within the BBC.
Thank God we have come a long way since then,  but sadly the demonisation of sexuality, be it gay or straight, is unhealthy and this approach needs looking at and a healthy and honest approach to sex, pornography, LGBT lifestyles and humanity in general, ( as we are all sexual being ) - needs not be brushed under the carpet and hidden in dark bedrooms where resentment, jealousy, bitterness and fucked up human beings grow into monsters who molest, rape and murder.  We need prasie and celebration for the beauty and the gifts that a healthy sex life brings us - and to learn control and decency, respect, value  and understanding - for all forms of sexuality - and while we do need laws of consent and age and so forth, we need these laws adminstered with kindness and softness - especially where children are concerned and where less damage is offered when the 'do goders' get involved.  
Trouble is, those with the knowledge and understanding,  are too often looked down on by society and smeared by the less educated and these are the people who rise to the surface and the educated and worthy are pushed under as wrong,  and bigotry and opression rules the day.

Just look at Russia.


If you'd like to send a list of other countries who offer a homophobic and bigoted approach to the LGBT lifestyle,  please do,  as I am sure it will be a long list...

Dear John. Powerful stuff. Your comments on Russia and sex education. I cheered and actually had a tear. Spot on John. Well spoken and thanks for sharing your views.  Alan

John. Read your comments at the bottom of your Russian Anti Gay Laws and was amazed. Thank you for speaking so openly and truthfully. Too much remains hidden and your comments opened my heart to so much I was feeling but hiding. Maybe you need to help the government formulate its sex education package.  Annie.

John. A gay friend showed me your site and your comments on sex workers writting the educational programmes for schools being an idea and I had to congratulate you. I have been selling sex for almost 20 years and have 2 teenage boys and a daughter in her 20's and all have known of my profession and all are the most balanced, normal and healthily people I have ever met.  They do me proud.  I speak  as a mother, and as a human being, and how being open and honest with my children has allowed them to be open and honest in return, and anything - ANYTHING, was never difficult to discuss and no embarrasment caused.  Well done on your web site. What an amazing man you are.  Laura ( West London ) 


Russian Bill Would Let State

Take Kids from Gay Parents


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