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RUSSIAN GAY RIGHTS ACTIVISTS WIN LEGAL BATTLE OVER FILM FESTIVAL

October 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Russian gay rights advocates have won a small victory in their battle against harsh new laws targeting “homosexual propaganda.” A court in St. Petersburg has overturned a lower court decision that fined a gay film festival — the Side by Side (Bok o Bok) Festival — 400,000 rubles ($13,000) — and ruled that it must register as a foreign agent. The stated purpose of the LGBT festival is to generate “a positive dialogue of understanding through the medium of high-quality, intelligent film … to facilitate change and fundamentally bring about broader acceptance of minority groups within society.” The festival had been charged with receiving funds from “nongovernmental organizations” (NGOs) abroad, something it had denied. In a statement following the new ruling, the festival said, “Finally justice has been done!” and it expressed the hope that other groups prosecuted under the “foreign agent” rule “will also win, restoring justice to the court system in Russia.”