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Russian Government Sanctions LGBT Support Group for Suggesting Gay Youths Are Brave

Roscomnadzor sanctions Children-404 for suggesting that gays can be good people. Images edited by Kevin Rothrock.

Roscomnadzor sanctions Children-404 for suggesting that gays can be good people. Images edited by Kevin Rothrock.

The founder of “Children-404,” an online support network for LGBT teens in Russia similar to the “It Gets Better” campaign in the United States, now stands formally accused of illegal “gay propaganda.” Lena Klimova first reported the case against her group last week, after investigators visited her home and then summoned her to a federal police building. Klimova was asked to appear in Moscow today, November 18, but she couldn't make the trip, as she lives more than 1,100 miles away, in Nizhny Tagil. Police refused Klimova's request to move the case closer to her home.

Writing on LiveJournal today, Klimova published some excerpts—what she calls the “tastiest bits”—from the government's charges against Children-404. The following language is from the state's case against Klimova's community:

… материалы в целом способны вызвать у детей представление о том, что быть геем – это значит быть человеком мужественным, сильным, уверенным, упорным, с чувством собственного достоинства и самоуважения …

The materials [on Children-404] can cause children to believe that being gay means being a person who is brave, strong, confident, tenacious, and someone with a sense of dignity and self-respect.

… данные комментарии открыто выражают негативное отношение к матери, осуждающей подростка-гомосексуалиста ..

The comments [on Children-404] are openly negative toward mothers who condemn their teenage homosexual kids.

… в данном сообществе практически отсутствует информация о том, что данные отношения являются нетрадиционными в понимании норм, обычаев и устоев РФ …

This community contains almost no information about the fact that this [sexual] orientation is untraditional according to the norms, customs, and practices of the Russian Federation.

These charges build on comments published yesterday on Facebook by Russian federal censors, who accused Children-404 of endangering LGBT minors by providing them with “amateur” psychological support. 

The Russian government seems to be telling LGBT teens that they're a threat to each other—that they require the attention of medical professionals, who will explain calmly that being gay precludes bravery, strength, and anything else good under the sun. If you're young and gay, you should stay away from others like you. If you must, go to a doctor and seek proper care, before you fall under delusions of dignity and self-respect.

How's that for an “It Gets Better” public service announcement?

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