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Court Fines Russian Bakery For Hanging 'No Gays Allowed' Sign

Court Fines Russian Bakery For Hanging 'No Gays Allowed' Sign

Russian Bakery Fined For Banning Gays From Store

A court ruled the display “humiliates homosexuals as… a group of people distinguished on the basis of sexual orientation.”

A Russian bakery has been fined for hanging a sign banning LGBTQ+ customers from shopping there.

When it opened in February, the Ipakov Brothers bakery appeared to be your average, ordinary breadmaker -- but with one notable exception. The shop, which is located in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, reportedly hung a wooden sign near the entryway reading: "F*****s are not allowed."

According to the Kemerovo central district court, the display is not only offensive to the LGBTQ+ community. It's also illegal.

As the Moscow Timeswas first to report, the court found Ipakov Brothers guilty of "inciting hatred" against LGBTQ+ people and slapped the bakery with a fine of 10,000 rubles. According to the ruling, the display "humiliates homosexuals as... a group of people distinguished on the basis of sexual orientation."

Although the penalty comes out to just $150 in the United States, the average monthly income for a Siberian worker is 24,000 rubles -- meaning the fine is a little less than half a month's wages.

Anton Ipatov, the owner of Ipakov Brothers, denies the sign was intended to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ+ community. He told Russia's 360 TV that the problem is not homophobia but the fact that queer and transgender people force their lifestyles down the throats of "normal people."

According to the LGBTQ+ website NewNowNext, Ipatov further attempted to justify his homophobic rhetoric by claiming during the court case that everything "unnatural is alien to him" because his store makes "natural" products.

This isn't the first time a Russian bakery has been criticized for hanging anti-LGBTQ+ signs in its shops. In 2017, German Sterligov -- who operates the high-end organic bread chain Bread and Salt -- began putting up signs warning that "no pederasts" are allowed in his shops. In fact, one Bread and Salt location in Kirov even sold the offending displays for 2,000 rubles (which is equivalent to $35).

Although Sterligov encouraged other business owners to take measures to keep LGBTQ+ people out, the campaign attracted international condemnation, and at least one of Sterligov's stores was vandalized.

While this week's ruling may seem like a step in the right direction, Russia still has a long way to go. In 2013, its legislature unanimously passed a "propaganda" law banning the spread of information on "nontraditional sexual relations to minors." In the six years since that law was passed, anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes have doubled.

RELATED | No, No, No: European Court Rules Russia Can't Ban LGBTQ Events

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