- Title: Russian LGBT activist fined for 'gay propaganda' family drawings
- Date: 10th July 2020
- Summary: INTERNET (JULY 10, 2020) (REUTERS) (MUTE) ***WARNING: CONTAINS NUDITY*** VARIOUS OF SCREENSHOT OF POSTS IN SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE "MONOLOGUES OF THE VAGINA"
- Embargoed: 24th July 2020 16:23
- Keywords: LGBT Russia artist body positivism case against artist court human rights
- Location: MOSCOW, ST PETERSBURG AND KOMSOMOLSK-ON-AMUR, RUSSIA / INTERNET
- City: MOSCOW, ST PETERSBURG AND KOMSOMOLSK-ON-AMUR, RUSSIA / INTERNET
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA005CM88OXZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A Russian LGBT activist said she was fined 75,000 roubles ($1,000) on Friday on charges of spreading "gay propaganda" among minors by publishing drawings of same-sex couples with children online.
Yulia Tsvetkova and her lawyer said she was prosecuted over a series of colorful pictures, some showing two men or two women, holding babies or standing with young children, sometimes surrounded by rainbow-colored love hearts.
The court in the eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur confirmed the 27-year-old had been fined under a 2013 law that bans disseminating "propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations" among young Russians - legislation condemned by rights groups.
"Today I was fined for posts about discrimination and how to fight it, for posts that family is where love is," Tsvetkova told Reuters.
Her lawyer Alexei Bushmakov said Tsvetkova was also awaiting trial on separate charges of producing and disseminating pornography - offenses punishable with up to six years in jail. He said investigators had told her not to discuss that case.
Homosexuality in Russia, where the influence of the socially conservative Orthodox Church has grown in recent years, was a criminal offense until 1993, and classed as a mental illness until 1999.
Gay marriage is not recognized and only heterosexual couples can legally adopt children in Russia.
President Vladimir Putin has said he is not prejudiced against gay people, but that he finds a Western willingness to embrace homosexuality and gender fluidity out of step with traditional Russian values.
Tsvetkova has built up an online following with her colorful drawings that she says promote LGBT rights and celebrate the female body. Many are published on Facebook and the Russian social media site Vkontakte.
Her prosecution has sparked a wave of support among activists and artists in Russia and abroad. Dozens of women were arrested in Moscow last month at a protest against her trial.
Russian LGBT Network, the country's most prominent gay rights campaign group, called charges against Tsvetkova "nonsense."
"Russian homophobia... is largely an outcome of authorities' homophobic policies," said Svetlana Zakharova, one of the group's board members.
(Production: Maria Vasilyeva, Anastasia Adasheva, Olga Tscherbakova)
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