Conviction Overturned in Russian Gay Propaganda Case

Recently a Russian teen was persecuted under the anti-gay "gay propaganda" law for posting pictures online. However, while he was found guilty initially, his conviction has been overturned, according to Pink News.

Russia's "gay propaganda" law basically bans anyone from promoting "propaganda" of any sexuality other than heterosexual, according to Mic. After the 2013 bill became law, multiple bans on pride parades have been instated as well as a surge in violence against LGBTQ people, among other things. This is a step backwards for equality in Russia and a slap in the face for LGBTQ Russians. 

Maxim Neverov, the teen who was charged with "propaganda of homosexuality among minors" for posting pictures online that could be construed as pictures of people in same-sex relationships, filed an appeal with his lawyer, Artem Lapov, to contest his conviction. Part of his conviction included him paying a fine of approximately $760.000 for posting the pictures online, but Lapov was firm in saying that Neverov was not paying the fine or accepting the conviction.

Neverov participated in a public protest called "Gays for Putin" as well as submitted twelve applications for the performance (all rejected) attempted to organize a pride parade, which led the Russian LGBT Network to believe that Maxim was targeted. 

Investigators reviewed Neverov's case materials and interviewed witnesses under the assumption of Maxim's innocence. They found no in incriminating evidence and decided to reverse their initial decision and Neverov does not have to pay the fine. 

While Neverov's conviction was overturned, things in Russia for LGBT people are still unequal. Since the law was passed, crimes against LGBT Russians have increased, many LGBT activists have been detained by the police, and a great deal of requests for pride events were shut down. Yes, the conviction being reversed is definitely a step forward, but the fact that the gay propaganda law was put in place initially speaks to a nefarious view of non-heterosexual people. 


h/t: Pink NewsMic

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