Anti-LGBT Lawmaker Tried To Shut Down Russian LGBT Film Festival

Vitaly Milonov

Vitaly Milonov is known for Russia’s ban on “gay propaganda.” The latest event he deemed as a violation of the law was the opening night of Russia’s only LGBT film festival, called Side By Side.

State Deputy Milonov, joined by six other men, attempted to shut down the festival last Wednesday, according to Fontanka news.

“Dear citizens, you know yourselves that you are perverts; you need to disperse,” Milonov said in a video posted online.

Milonov reportedly called the police about a “hostage crisis” inside the cinema, according to the festival’s organization, though he denies this was the case. When the police evacuated the place, the estimated 400 guests who bought tickets were barred from attending the screenings of the first night.

The gay propaganda law, which Milonov said the festival broke, bans promoting LGBT values among minors, according to the Moscow Times. But minors weren’t allowed at the festival.

Despite the rocky start, the festival continued as planned for the rest of the week.

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