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9 Jun, 2021 15:05

Russian court throws out case over Dolce & Gabbana adverts featuring women kissing, after MP withdraws ‘gay propaganda’ law appeal

Russian court throws out case over Dolce & Gabbana adverts featuring women kissing, after MP withdraws ‘gay propaganda’ law appeal

A court in St. Petersburg won’t consider whether videos published by fashion house Dolce & Gabbana breached Russia’s rules on promoting ‘non-traditional sexual orientations’, as prosecutors did not correct errors in the paperwork.

The press service for the Oktyabrsky District Court reported on Tuesday that the documents had been returned to the plaintiff. Officials had been given until Monday to provide more information in order to progress the case, but left the questions unanswered.

Authorities took up the case against two adverts posted on Instagram by the Italian haute couture luxury retailer in February. Featuring two women kissing intimately, the clips were aimed at supporting a charity that provides suicide prevention and crisis support for young LGBT+ people.   

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Prosecutors opened the file after Mikhail Romanov, a State Duma deputy from the governing United Russia party, requested that they check whether it breached the country’s laws on promoting homosexuality. However, it is understood that the lawmaker has since withdrawn the appeal.

Russia introduced provisions banning the “promotion of non-traditional sexual values among minors” in 2013, as part of a bill that the government said would protect children from abuse and ensure family values were not eroded. However, detractors, including a large number of Western lobby groups, insist that it is part of an attack on LGBT+ rights.

Defending the measures, President Vladimir Putin has argued that the law only targets “gay propaganda,” while saying that it “has nothing to do with persecuting individuals for their sexual orientation.” Asked by journalists in 2014 about his views on the subject, the Russian leader said, “I don’t care about a person’s orientation, and I myself know some people who are gay. We are on friendly terms. I’m not prejudiced in any way.”

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