Straight-Married Russian Man Arrested For “Homosexual Propaganda” Now Cleared Of Violating Anti-Gay Ban

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.

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  • nugoyxi

    I signed that petition! What that man did was so awesome!

    I hope Russia gets rid of the anti gay law soon

  • jason

    Russian men are so sexy and easily bedable, especially after a vodka or two. Take it from me – been there, done that. In bed, they are sexual animals. Once you go Russian, you’ll never go searchin’.

    On the political gay level, however, it’s very difficult to be gay in Russia. Russia’s political history is fraught with pain and suffering, and failure. Communism was a big failure. It’s as if the modern Russians see gay rights as yet another political movement that may threaten them.

    And don’t forget the influence of the Orthodox church. The Orthodox church is highly conservative and controlling.

  • Alexi3

    I’ve been following the extraordinary bravery of the LGBT fighters in Russia and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union for some time now. It’s not only reactionary politicians like the Mayor of Moscow, who has refused permits for Pride Parades, or the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church who are the villians here. It seems the majority of ordinary Russians are genuinly anti-gay rights. From what I’ve been able to discern people view LGBT rights as an attack against religous freedoms they have only recently regained after the fall of the Communist system. They see the decline of Christianity in Western Europe, which is all too evident, and they have tied that decline and LGBT rights together. Remember it was the Catholic Church and the bravery and outspokeness of the late Pope John-Paul II that were largely responsible for the fall of Communism in Poland which spread to the rest of Eastern Europe and finally to th collapse of the regime in Russia itself. None of these things happened very long ago and people are afraid that if they push the government too far the bad old days could return. There exists a sizeable minority in Russia who is working toward that very end and they use things like LGBT rights as examples of the degeneracy of the West. We must give these people time; we didn’t get where we are overnight and it is going to take patience and time in a country that has no history of democratic rights. We should support our brothers and sisters in any way we can that they think will be helpful. Remember here in America we still have a long way to go for full equality – most of Western Europe, Canada and Israel are ahead of us on the legal front for LGBT rights. Remember that and get working.

  • Houston Bill

    But wait a minute. If they simply arrest people for ‘disobeying police orders’ when they order persons to stop supporting Gay rights, isn’t it really the same thing?

  • B

    No. 4 · Houston Bill wrote, “But wait a minute. If they simply arrest people for ‘disobeying police orders’ when they order persons to stop supporting Gay rights, isn’t it really the same thing?” The charge for disobeying a [random] police order is probably way less.

    Also, if you obey the order and the police didn’t have a right to issue it, then what happens? Don’t know about Russia, but in the U.S., think “lawsuit”. A few of those, and the police are going to find more important things to do.

  • Houston Bill

    @B: Unfortunately, that’s likely not how this is going to be used in Russia. Here’s how this is likely to go down.

    1) Any person protesting for LGBT rights will be arrested. They will then be jailed.
    2) They will be fined for ‘refusing to obey police orders’.
    3) Any appeal of the conviction will be disallowed because of the anti-Gay propaganda law.
    4) All permits for LGBT protests will be disallowed because of the law.

    The net effect will be the same.

    No lawsuit by a gay person in Russia has any chance of being successful.

  • Danny

    The tv/radio stations are state-controlled in Russia as are the polling companies. The only propaganda in Russia comes from the government trying to stay in power to continue splitting the profits from the oil industry the government seized. Russia is still the Soviet Union of old, the KGB just changed initials to FSB, etc. – the corruption never went away. That’s why it broke apart the first time.

  • B

    In No. 6 · Houston Bill wrote, “@B: Unfortunately, that’s likely not how this is going to be used in Russia.” Really? According to Queerty’s article, in the excerpt from the original that was quoted, the Russian in question said, “The courts are afraid of applying this law and do not want to take responsibility for its further enforcement.”

    Sounds like the Russian legislature that passed it likes it, the courts don’t, and the police charged him only with disobeying them, not for the sign per se.

    One problem: what the hell is “homosexual propaganda” anyway? It’s not like he was handing out free passes to a sex club, or even a fliers for a dance. The law supposedly outlaws “promoting homosexuality and pedophilia among minors.” What does that mean? It obviously includes promoting sexual activity, but what else does it cover? It is really kind of vague to the point of meaning whatever you want it to mean.

  • Tavdy79

    I suspect he wasn’t prosecuted because the Russians know that the law would be overturned in an instant by the European court of Human Rights. I suspect we will see this develop into a pattern: Russian police will use the law as a pretext for silencing LGBT rights campaigners, then use civil disobedience laws when it comes to prosecution to avoid a case going to the ECHR.

  • daisy

    @Mark Moscow: Why was it then banned for so many years by athiest Soviet Union? It was criminalized by Lazar Kaganovich, a Jew.

  • Mark Moscow

    @daisy: Because Abrahamic infection (Judaism, Islam and Christianity) has managed to make homophobia the most important social attribute of “proper” masculinity. So now you can be an atheist, and homophobic. I’ve always wondered why there are gay Christians, but Jews do not have fans of Hitler among them))))))

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