A straight Russian man who was the first to be arrested by the St. Petersburg police for violating their new ban on “homosexual propaganda” has been charged with “disobeying police orders” instead of breaking the gay ban.
Reports gay-rights activist org AllOut, in a press release circulated to gay media outlets:
Sergey Kondrashov, a straight Russian man arrested two weeks ago for holding up a gay rights banner in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was today found guilty of “disobeying police orders” – and ultimately not charged under the city’s new “homosexual propaganda” law. The judge cited a lack of evidence, and protocols, in explaining the absence of the charge in her final decision. Kondrashov, an attorney, and other human and civil rights activists in Russia, say this is further proof of the new law’s un-enforceability – and un-constitutionality.
Kondrashov explains, “The courts are afraid of applying this law and do not want to take responsibility for its further enforcement. The judge’s decision is illogical in a legal sense, and it lacks common sense.” When arrested, Sergey was holding up a banner that read : A dear family friend is lesbian. My wife and I love and respect her … and her family is just as equal as ours.
While it’s great to have straight allies in celebrities like Josh Hutcherson and Chris Evans, the real front-line work of activists is perhaps more commendable. After all, the celebs have merely endorsed what increasingly becomes a cool and popular way of thinking, but these activists risk their well-being (and sometimes lives) for the international LGBT cause. Kudos to Sergey and kudos to the gay activists in Russia for bringing the country up to speed.
Check out AllOut’s “Stand With Sergey” petition here, which as of this publishing nearly 70,000 people have signed.