The Public Prosecutor of the Rostov Oblast has contended that "Homosexual propaganda is prohibited" in Russia.
At least that is the conclusion you reach after reading media reports that the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Rostov Oblast has threatened to bring charges against two Rostov Broadcasting Agencies, Telephone & Radio Company Pulse and Company EkspoVIM, for transmitting SMS messages in phone chats "which contained alternative sexual orientation propaganda."
In an issue of the magazine Kommersant in Rostov-on-Don the message that outraged the Public Prosecutor was quoted. The bureaucrat, however, was too embarrassed to read the message aloud. Instead, he held up a paper at a press conference for journalists to read, on which a message was circled twice in bright red ink "guy seeks guy, tall top soldier 25 or younger." This message, according the Public Prosecutor, introduces "the cult of sexual dissoluteness to the minds of minors" and propagates "antisocial and perverted sexual behavior."
Not only did the official judge the message from the standpoint of the "law", but he also pronounces anal sex between two men as "perversion." What would await these "guys" if Statute 121 were still in effect?!
The Prosecutors Office has as of yet failed to report whether or not messages such as "Misha, I love you! Volodya" or "Olga, I want you. Marina" fall under the prohibition definition.
The Prosecutors go on to explain, "these types of telecommunication are forbidden by Russian as well as International legislation."
"The two Broadcasting Agencies have been sent warning letters and if this is repeated, we will take official measures to prosecute," commented the head of the Rostov Oblast Public Prosecutors Office Division of Law Execution Relating to Minors, Dmitry Tikhonov.
Mr. Tikhonov also reported that similar inspections are being expected for all regional Broadcast Agencies.
In the meantime, Broadcasting Company Pulse has informed Kommersant that it does not intend to contact the Officials and will simply discontinue further translations of phone chats. A business, in which content providers are very "involved", is contending the Public Prosecutor’s interpretation of morality.
Certainly the substance of the phrase "guy seeks guy, tall top soldier 25 or younger" can be disputed in the courts, but doubtful that any lawyer will want to be associated with "queer" subject matter in a time when Russian society is plunging further and further into homophobic gloom and religious obscurantism.
Translation by Timofey Grishin