Russia Has Banned Its Most Popular LGBT Website
Russian Court Order Removes Gay News Portal
One of Russia's most popular LGBT news sites, BlueSystem.ru, has been banned by a court in Siberia without warning. The site is now inaccessible from anywhere in Russia, even though the ruling came from a court in the small and remote town of Parabel in Siberia.
The internet used to be considered a fairly safe place for homosexual Russians during the past few years during which staunch Russian hardliners are attacking the LGBTQ lifestyle, and claiming that homosexuality is an “Evil” sent to decrease their already declining population. More recently in even the most provincial towns, online dating sites for the LGBTQ community were growing in popularity. Unfortunately, it isn’t safe anymore.
no warning, no reason
Not only did the administrators of BlueSystems.ru report that they haven’t received any reason for the decision, they also received no warning that the case was taking place, and were unable to defend themselves in court. The courts website hasn’t published the reason for the ban on their website either.
Taking to their Vkontakte page, which is a Russian social media site; BlueState administrators addressed the situation by say that, “The Kremlin is afraid of gays. On the eve of the State Duma elections, the Kremlin mobilized its repressive machine and blocked the most popular Runet gay site.”
BlueSystem.ru's administrators describe the site as the biggest gay news portal on the Russian Internet, and it is visited by more than 100,000 people a day according to their statement on Vkontakte.
Pavel Lobkov, a Russian television anchor who was the first Russian to come out and publicly declare on live TV that he had HIV, recently said in an interview to the daily beast that, “The BlueSystem website was mainly popular as a dating resource. Dating on the internet is like water flowing downhill, it finds its own level, and people will always find a new way to date online.”
attacking the russian lgbtq community is dangerous
Lobkov also expressed how dangerous he feels these new attacks against the Russian LGBTQ community are by saying “The authorities do not understand that their banning machine is pushing LGBT people to hang out in parks, meet under trees, that sort of thing, which would definitely increase crime in Russia, as has happened in countries like Morocco.”
Even though homosexuality is legal in Russia, there are many current obstacles facing its LGBTQ citizens. Recently Russia has come under scrutiny from human rights activists for a new law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors which is ambiguously written and has many critics saying that it’s led to more discrimination and attacks against people in the Russian LGBT community.
We'll be following up with an update on how Russian activists are fighting back.
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