One of club’s owners caused a stir earlier this month when a selfie she took kissing her girlfriend with an anti-LGBT lawmaker in the background went viral.
1. Prosecutors are investigating a Russian nightclub linked to the women whose in-flight kissing selfie went viral earlier this month on charges of violating the country’s ban on “gay propaganda,” local media reported Thursday.
The couple were flying from Moscow to St. Petersburg when they spotted St. Petersburg city councilman Vitaly Milonov, one of Russia’s most outspoken anti-LGBT politicians, in a neighboring row and snapped a selfie of themselves in protest.
2. “We’re flying to our favorite club, Infinity,” Instagram user InfinityKseniya wrote when uploading the photo to her account. Russian media identified her as one of the nightclub’s owners.
3. Vitaly Cherkasov, a lawyer with the human rights group Agora, told TV Rain the local prosecutor’s office had called members of the lesbian club’s management in for questioning.
Guests celebrate a birthday party at Infinity, according to the caption posted by user InfinityKseniya.
4. Cherkasov said the prosecutor’s office is looking into the club’s presence on the Russian social network VKontakte on the suspicion that some members of its closed group are under 18.
“Attention! We only let members 18+ into the group. If we did not admit you into the group and you are over 18, write one of the administrators with a photo of your face on the background of your passport so that your birthdate is visible. We will only add you after these procedures verifying you are over 18,” Infinity’s group page read when accessed Thursday.
5. Cherkasov said it was possible some teens had joined the online community by lying to the administrators about their age and that Infinity was open to improving its controls on access to the group.
6. A group on VKontake called “Moscow is not Sodom! St. Petersburg is not Gomorrah!” appears to be responsible for a campaign sending in complaints to the prosecutor’s office that sparked the investigation.
“A new forced selfie. Ready for the defense #antihomophobia,” InfinityKseniya captioned a photo from the prosecutor’s office.
“Let’s take a few minutes to write complaints to the prosecutor’s office about the lesbo club where sodomites corrupt underage girls. By the way, it’s employees of that particular club who staged a provocation a few days ago: in front of the passengers of Moscow-St. Petersburg flight, they demonstrated their perverse inclinations that caused a scandal on the internet,” a message posted to the group reads, according to a screenshot published by TV Rain.
The post includes a link to the St. Petersburg prosecutor’s office website and instructions on how to file a complaint.
“Some anonymous people who’ve probably never been to our club before simply tossed unnecessary work onto the prosecutors, distracting them from really important matters,” Alexandra Stepanova, one of the club’s directors, told the Russian news site Fontanka. “During the checks, they did not identify any violations. [Russian government communications watchdog] Roskomnadzor is currently checking our group on Vkontakte for the presence of violations.”