Moscow, April 25 (IANS/RIA Novosti) For the first time in Russia, an event organiser and numerous gay rights activists have been penalised for promoting homosexuality, officials said Wednesday.
Laws penalising "the propaganda of homosexuality and paedophilia among minors" have been approved in several Russian regions, including Ryazan, Kostroma, Arkhangelsk and St. Petersburg, to mixed reactions among people.
An event organizer in Arkhangelsk was fined 2,000 rubles (around $70), and other offenders, whose number was not disclosed, were punished with fines of 1,800 rubles, the regional prosecutor's office said.
The prosecutors said that since passage of the law, social activists have repeatedly committed actions aimed at promoting homosexuality.
Gay rights activists believe that the aim of protecting youth is just an excuse for banning all public events featuring homosexuals and members of other sexual orientation. They have vowed to take the fight against the ban to the European Court of Human Rights.
Russia recently vetoed a statement at the G8 foreign ministers' summit in Chicago concerning protection for sexual minorities.