Russia’s ‘LGBT movement’ ban: New 18+ age restriction for "My Little Pony"

Written by Jeppe W

Dec.06 - 2023 7:45 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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The Russian Supreme Court's decision on November 30 to ban the “international LGBT movement” has not yet come into legal effect, but the repercussions are already being felt across Russia.

Meduza reports on the immediate and chilling impact of this ruling on the LGBTQ+ community in the country.

Following the court's decision, Russian law enforcement officers conducted raids on multiple LGBTQ+ nightclubs in Moscow on the night of December 1.

Witnesses reported police intrusions into parties, photographing guests' passports without permission, and creating an intimidating atmosphere.

The popular St. Petersburg gay club, Central Station, announced its closure, citing pressure due to the new law.

The implications of the ruling extend beyond physical spaces to the digital realm as well. The dating app Pure removed the option for Russian users to indicate their sexual orientation, limiting profile options to height, weight, and language.

This change starkly contrasts with the app's features available in other countries.

The human rights project DELO, known for providing legal assistance to LGBTQ+ people in Russia, announced its dissolution in response to the external pressures. The group assured that ongoing legal cases would be completed with the help of other lawyers.

In another unexpected development, the children's cartoon series 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' received an 18+ label on the Kinopoisk movie database, a Yandex-owned platform.

This surprising move is speculated to be linked to one of the main characters being named Rainbow Dash, although the exact reason remains unclear.

Legal experts from the human rights group Department One have indicated that the Supreme Court’s ban on the “LGBT movement” will officially come into force on January 10, 2024.

Despite not being legally binding yet, the ruling has already resulted in preemptive actions that significantly affect the LGBTQ+ community in Russia, illustrating the far-reaching impact of such judicial decisions.

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