A Russian court has fined a newspaper editor for publishing an interview with a gay school teacher who was quoted as saying “homosexuality is normal.”
Alexander Suturin, editor of the Molodoi Dalnevostochnik, a weekly published in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk near the border with China, was ordered to pay a fine of 50,000 rubles (£870) for violating a law that bans “gay propaganda” among minors.
Suturin, who is to appeal against the ruling, published an interview with a geography teacher, Alexander Yermoshkin, after he had been fired because of his sexual orientation (see details in the Moscow Times).
After launching an investigation, an official of the Russian state’s media watchdog, the Federal Mass Media Inspection Service, pointed to a quote by Yermoshkin: “My very existence is effective proof that homosexuality is normal.”
She said: “This statement goes against logic. By offering it to underage readers, the author is misleading them about the normality of homosexuality.”
The “gay propaganda” law has drawn strong international criticism amid calls for a boycott of the winter Olympics in Sochi, which is due to start on Friday (7 February).
Sources: Interfax via AP via NYTimes
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