ST. PETERSBURG, June 28 (RAPSI) - The Oktyabrsky District Court in St. Petersburg has ordered gay activist Nikolai Alekseyev to pay 10,000 rubles ($300) to lawmaker Vitaly Milonov.
The money will compensate the litigation cost of one of the five defamation lawsuits that Alekseyev lost against Milonov. "The amount is to be paid to the lawyer who represented me in court," Milonov told RIA Novosti.
He said the gay activist took offence after the lawmaker, who earlier sponsored the controversial St. Petersburg act banning gay propaganda to minors, sent him greetings on March 8, widely celebrated in Russia as Women's Day.
"He was on TV the day before the holiday and he mentioned having a husband," Milonov said. "I thought it would be polite to send the wife a traditional holiday greeting. He felt insulted, but I didn't know things were different with them. I simply thought that if someone is referred to as a husband, the other one is supposed to be a wife, even if of an unconventional kind. But it turned out they were both husbands."
Meanwhile, Alekseyev told RIA Novosti that he planned to appeal the ruling in St. Petersburg City Court. "We will absolutely appeal this decision," he stated.
The bill setting fines for "gay propaganda" came into force in St. Petersburg on March 30, 2012. It faced criticism from the LGBT community and rights activists in Russia and abroad, but was also proposed to be made into a federal law.
The city law bans the propaganda of homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality among children and teenagers, which is punished by a fine of 5,000 rubles ($157) for individuals, 50,000 rubles ($1,570) for officials and 250,000-500,000 rubles ($7,854-$15,710) for companies.