The administration of the site gay.ru appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with a complaint about the blocking in Russia. This was reported to Meduza in the human rights group Agora.
The resource, which has been operating since 1997, was added to the register of banned sites in May 2018 by a decision of the Altai District Court of Khakassia. The court found that gay.ru contained “information promoting non-traditional sexual relations,” including among minors.
The Supreme Court of Khakassia upheld the decision of the district court.
As stated in the complaint to the ECHR (available to Medusa), gay.ru has a note of 18+, as required by Russian law.
Moreover, as the applicant points out, there is no “effective way to distinguish the audience of an Internet resource by age without a complete identification of the user’s identity, which would be an excessive interference with the right to respect for private and family life.”
Thus, the site administration believes that the norm on the basis of which gay.ru was blocked in Russia is “excessively uncertain and unpredictable” in its application.
“This legislation is, in fact, discriminatory <…> legal norms go beyond what is necessary to protect minors from indecent behavior,” the complaint addressed to the ECHR said.