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Russian Movie Portal Charged With ‘LGBT Propaganda’ – Reports

Evgenij Razumny / Vedomosti / TASS

Updated with fines against Russky Reportazh and Premier. 

Russian authorities have charged a popular movie portal owned by the country’s largest tech company Yandex with distributing so-called “LGBT propaganda” to minors, independent media reported Tuesday.

Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky District Court registered an administrative case against Kinopoisk, a film database and streaming service with more than 150 million monthly visitors, according to the news website Mediazona.

The plaintiff is listed as Russia’s state media watchdog Roskomnadzor, which enforces the LGBT propaganda ban.

It was not immediately clear which content on Kinopoisk was deemed to be in violation of Russian law.

If found guilty, Kinopoisk faces a fine of between 1 million rubles and 4 million rubles ($12,000-47,500) or a three-month suspension of operations.

State media reported later Tuesday that another Moscow court registered a new Roskomnadzor case into LGBT propaganda against TV-3, an entertainment television channel owned by the Gazprom energy giant.

TV-3 faces similar fines and temporary suspensions as Kinopoisk if found guilty of distributing LBGT propaganda.

And on Wednesday, Mediazona reported on two additional fines against a popular Russian streaming platform and a distribution company.

The distributor Russky Reportazh was fined 500,000 rubles ($6,000) for the Italian TV series “Made in Italy.”

Meanwhile, the streaming platform Premier was fined 4 million rubles ($47,500) for the 2001 British romantic comedy “Blow Dry” and the 2016 Italian comedy “Perfect Strangers,” which depicts a character who comes out as gay. 

Russia in December expanded its “LGBT propaganda” ban to outlaw public displays of non-traditional relationships and lifestyles to people of any age, not just minors.

Russian lawmakers said this week that Roskomnadzor has launched 33 cases against the country’s major streaming platforms since the expanded LGBT propaganda law went into effect.

The first guilty verdict relating to the new law was handed down earlier in June when a Russian court fined a streaming platform $15,000 on charges of distributing LGBT propaganda.

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