Support The Moscow Times!

No ‘Gay Propaganda’ Found in Schoolchildren’s Art, Police Say

Ura.ru

Police found no violations of Russia’s gay propaganda laws in confiscated children’s drawings from a school art exhibition after parents complained that they depicted same-sex couples.

Russia outlawed “homosexual propaganda” among minors in 2013, a move that allowed courts to ban gay pride events and led to a surge in anti-LGBT sentiment. In November, police in Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg seized 17 drawings for inspection into gay propaganda.

The Yekaterinburg branch of the Interior Ministry ruled that there were “no elements of a crime,” Interfax reported Wednesday.

Photographs of the drawings submitted by fifth- to 11th-graders for an art contest marking the International Day of Tolerance divided observers into two camps.

The local news website ura.ru claimed the silhouettes of a female couple, a male couple and a mixed couple portrayed “gays and lesbians.” Some regional authorities had said the accusers saw gay propaganda that “wasn’t there.”

“The pictures reflect human values: friendship, respect, mutual understanding and acceptance of other people’s values and attitudes,” a spokesperson for the mayor’s office told ura.ru at the time.

“Some works depict a rainbow,” the spokesperson added. “[It is] a symbol of purity, childhood and friendship, embodying the unity of different nationalities.”

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.