Nearly two months after it was reported officials of Russia's state media regulator Roskomnadozr wanted to ban Apple's "gay" emojis, Billboard reports this week that the country's police have launched an investigation into the tech company thanks to Russia's controversial "homosexual propaganda" laws.
The emojis in question are part of Apple's iOS 8.3, which include images of families with same-sex parents, same-sex couples and gay pride flags. Under the vaguely worded anti-gay laws, which prohibit the "propagation" of "non-traditional" relationships to minors, the LGBT-inclusive emojis apparently pose a threat to Russia's children.
The case was brought by police in Russia' Kirov region, which is 600-miles northeast of Moscow, after a complaint by local attorney Yaroslav Mikhailov was filed, according to the Russian newspaper Gazeta.
Mikhailov claims Apple is violating the country's "homosexual propaganda" laws. The case, which was opened last month, is currently awaiting expert analysis of the emojis to determine if they are indeed "gay propaganda," according to Gazeta.
If found guilty, the computer company could be fined up to $15,000 and Russian authorities could ban the gay emojis.
Officials from Roskomnadozr wanted to outlaw the emojis and fine users between $837 and $1,674 when the story was reported in late July.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who approved of the anti-gay law in 2013, defended the "homosexual propaganda" law in an interview with "60 Minutes" Sunday, saying that LGBT people "live in peace" and that the measure doesn't harm the LGBT community.