2012-05-04 12:22:00

St. Petersburg court issues first guilty verdict in gay propaganda case

St. Petersburg, May 4, Interfax - A court in central St. Petersburg has found famous LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) activist Nikolay Alexeyev guilty of violating the city ban on the propaganda of homosexuality, an Interfax correspondent reported from the courtroom.

This is the first guilty verdict for violation of the recent law passed by the city.

The court found that by holding a lone picket outside the Smolny building on April 12 Alexeyev was involved in the propaganda of homosexual relations among minors. To prove this decision, the judge read out several statements from members of the public, who asked the court to punish the picketer. They motivated their request that his actions could be harmful for their children.

Throughout the hearing Alexeyev denied all homosexuality propaganda charges. He said: "I do not know what homosexuality propaganda is and I plead not guilty." He said he was holding the picket to prove that homosexuality is not a disorder and that homosexuals have the same rights as other people.

The court fined Alexeyev 5,000 rubles.

Commenting on the court ruling, the activist vowed to have it overturned. He is planning to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights, and the Russian Constitutional Court to challenge the legitimacy of the ban in general.

"It is a 100% win in all European courts," Alexeyev said.