MOSCOW — A prominent Russian gay rights activist says he’s been convicted of spreading “gay propaganda” among minors in the first such ruling in Russia’s modern history.
Nikolai Alexeyev said Friday a city court in St. Petersburg fined him 5,000 rubles ($170). He pledged to appeal the decision.
Lawmakers in Russia’s second-largest city created the offense in February. Gay rights activists say the legislation could be used to ban public demonstrations. Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but anti-gay sentiment remains strong.
Alexeyev was briefly detained last month after he picketed the city hall with a poster that said that “homosexuality is not a perversion.”
Calls to the court went unanswered shortly after the ruling.