Last month, Russia shut down its longest-running gay website, gay.ru, and now they’ve closed down another website.
Parni PLUS is a website that runs articles on HIV and other LGBTQ- related health issues. But they’re revealed that they were issued with a notice from the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, known as Roskomnadzor, telling them that needed to remove unspecified information.
The warning was issued because it was ruled that the website “contains information [which] challenges family values that promote unconventional sexual relations.” This is similar to the warning that gay.ru got, which said that the website “contains information that spreads propaganda of non-traditional sexual practices, and its dissemination in Russia is prohibited.”
Although they received the warning on 28 April, the court decision was made on 26 January, leaving them no time to appeal the decision. Despite this, Parni PLUS has hired lawyers to try and appeal the warning.
In a statement, they wrote: “Our resource has existed for more than 10 years and consistently informs people about the HIV situation in Russia, gay health issues and other events of the LGBT world.”
Russia has some of the, if not the, worst LGBTQ rights in the developed world. During the country’s recent Presidential election, an advert ran which warned people that they would have to live with a gay person if they didn’t vote. And a recent poll found that 83% of Russians consider gay sex to be “reprehensible.”
In 2013, Vladimir Putin signed into effect a gay propaganda rule, which banned the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual orientations to minors. Under the law, a Calvin Klein advert was banned, there were calls to ban the game FIFA 17, and the Warwick Rowers naked calendar was banned.
Although both websites have been banned in Russia, they can be accessed outside of the country.