The only LGBT friendly club is suffering big losses due to pressure from the local police. The space is regularly checked for gay propaganda, drugs, and prostitution (the club’s name is not disclosed for safety reasons), and a local resident denounces the activists. Polina Kuskova, discrimination monitoring coordinator in Kirov Oblast from the Russian LGBT Network, reported this to 7x7.
According to the LGBT activists, a local resident regularly denounces them with the police. Following their statement, the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Directorate conducted an evidentiary purchase in the club, although other supervisors usually do this. As a result, the police drew up two administrative protocols on the club for selling alcohol without a license. According to the activists, they missed renewing the license in time.
Polina Kuskova told 7x7 that the club’s closure would greatly worsen the situation with the LGBT community in Kirov. The Russian LGBT network is raising funds to pay for a lawyer for the activists in Kirov. The club's losses are already quite large without the fine.
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In Russia, LGBT spaces and LGBT activists are constantly under pressure from the authorities, law enforcement agencies, and homophobes. In June 2021, an unknown person attacked LGBT activists Yaroslav Sirotkin and Alexander Derrek from Yaroslavl at a bus stop on Epiphany Square. According to them, a man approached them and, recording all that was happening with a phone camera, shouted insults about their orientation, pepper sprayed them, and then disappeared.
After the start of the special operation, the Vykhod (‘way out’) LGBT Group’s team left Russia for safety. But the employees promised to provide psychological and legal assistance to LGBT people, conduct support groups and consultations, and help with employment. The lawyers will continue to work with the principals. The Ministry of Justice had labeled Vykhod and the Russian LGBT Network as foreign agents.
In June, the State Duma began considering a bill that actually prohibits saying that homosexual relationships are as normal as heterosexual ones.