Russia: Possible homophobic killing spikes concerns of gay community

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The death of a man in a possible homophobic attack in Russia has concerned activists, who say prejudice is becoming more concentrated due to anti-gay laws.

Reuters reports that the body of a 23-year-old man was found in the city of Volgograd on Friday. Discovered in the courtyard of an apartment building, the victim had received multiple stab wounds, including wounds to his genitals.

The federal Investigative Committee revealed that a 27-year-old ex-convict and a 22-year-old known by the victim had been detained on suspicion of murder.

Investigator Andrei Gapchenko said the victim had been drinking with the two men, who then attacked him after he revealed he was gay to them.

Gay rights proponent Nikolai Alexeyev, a major figure in LGBT activism in Russia, said: “This monstrous incident in Volgograd demonstrates the fruits of the homophobic policy that is being conducted in this country, including the initiative to ban homosexual propaganda.”

In January the Russian State Duma adopted the first reading of a homophobic censorship bill which would impose federal sanctions for the promotion of “gay propaganda”, similar to those passed in several regions of Russia, including St Petersburg. 

In Australia in February, Carl Katter started a campaign urging Melbourne City Council to break off its cultural partnership with St Petersburg over laws banning the “promotion” of gay and trans identities to minors, enacted by the Russian city in February of last year.

Venice and Milan have already cut their ties with St Petersburg over the laws