Russian Gay Teen Support Group’s Founder Fined

A district court in Russia has fined a journalist who founded an online support group for LGBT teenagers after finding her guilty of violating the country’s so-called gay-propaganda law.

Yelena Klimova wrote on VKontakte, Russia’s most popular social network, that a court in her native city of Nizhny Tagil in the Urals region ruled on July 28 that she should be fined 50,000 rubles ($840). Klimova wrote that she would appeal the decision.

Klimova has come under pressure for more than 18 months over her online support group, which caters to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual (LGBT) teenagers in Russia and is known as Deti-404 (Children-404). The number “404” refers to the “page not found” error code in Internet searches.

In February 2014 Klimova was charged with violating Russia’s law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors,” which was signed by President Vladimir Putin in 2013.

The charge was filed on the basis of a complaint from Vitaly Milonov — the member of St. Petersburg’s Legislative Assemblyman who was the architect of the controversial legislation.

Milonov demanded that Klimova be fined and her website shut down under the law.

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