Looking Out: Russian editor fined for printing that being gay is normal

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  • A ballet dancer with an Amnesty International logo painted on his arm takes part in a protest near the Russian embassy in London. The protest was held to condemn Russian anti-gay legislation.
A ballet dancer with an Amnesty International logo painted… (Leon Neal, AFP/Getty Images )
January 31, 2014|By Michael Gold | The Baltimore Sun

A Russian newspaper editor was fined Wednesday for printing a quote indicating that being gay was normal.

English translations of the contentious quote differ — Gay Star News went with "My very existence is proof being gay is normal" while the Associated Press uses the clunkier "My existence itself is effectively evidence of homosexuality's normalcy."

Words aside, the quote caused complaints when it was published in a Khabarovsk newspaper in September. The suggestion that gay and straight relationships were equal was enough for editor Alexander Suturin to be punished for violating Russia's ban on "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations."

Suturin's sentencing came about a week before the start of the Sochi Olympics, which have drawn increasing international outrage at Russia's anti-gay laws and the violence they sparked.

Protests against the law have continued as the Olympics approach. Of particular note: In London recently, four ballet dancers performed a scene from "Swan Lake" before handing over a petition.

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