Screenshot of Gay.Ru courtesy of Russian LGBT Network
Roskomnadzor Blocks Major LGBT Website Gay.Ru
Russian LGBT Network
March 30, 2018
The website Gay.Ru has been notified the information published on it has been included in the Unified Register of Prohibited Websites by decision of the Altai District Court in the village of Belyi Yar, Republic of Khakassia.
The website now contains the following warning.
“The basis for blocking [the website] was the posting of information promoting nontraditional sexual relations, which has been prohibited in the Russian Federation.”
The ruling was made by Judge Olga Kvasova. As is customary in cases concocted by the authorities, it is impossible to comprehend what exactly the court deemed promotion of homosexuality.
The plaintiffs in the case were the Altai District Prosecutor’s Office and the Yenisei branch office of Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal media and communications watchdog. The court’s verdict came into force on December 22, 2017.
Yesterday, the website received the standard letter from Roskomnadzor about needing to immediately delete information whose dissemination is forbidden in the Russian Federation.
A screenshot of the homepage of Gay.Ru, taken on March 31, 2018. There is a reason why everyone in their right mind uses VPNs to surf the web in Russia. And no, Veronica, it is not against Russian law for individuals to use them.
“In order to ensure the rights of citizens and in compliance with current legislation, the information indicated above must be banned from dissemination in the Russian Federation, since unhindered access to the specified internet resource and the information posted on the website has been classified as prohibited information, meant to be disseminated amongst underaged children, to be capable of provoking in them an interest in nontraditional sexual relations, to distort notions of the social equivalence of traditional and nontraditional sexual relations, and to induce them to engage in nontraditional sexual relations, which poses a real threat to their health. In addition, dissemination of this information has a negative impact on the moral, spiritual, mental and physical development, on the health and safety of minors, and diminishes the value of family relations,” the court’s ruling reads.*
For twenty years, Gay.Ru has not only covered LGBT community news in Russia and the world but has also published articles on the cultural and social life of LGBT people, articles on health and HIV prevention, and studies of gender and sexuality.
* The original Russian ruling is rendered in such illiterate, ungrammatical Russian I wonder whether the judge or court clerk who wrote it went to school. TRR
Thanks to Igor Kochetkov for the heads-up. Translated by the Russian Reader