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Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is becoming more and more difficult in Russia as sexual minorities are facing legal and social discrimination, harassment and even violent ‘hate crime’ attacks from religious and national conservative groups.

In June 2013, Russia’s homophobia moved from the streets into the country’s legislation as the State Duma unanimously adopted an anti-gay law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”, effectively making it illegal to hold any gay pride events, speak in defense of gay rights, or say that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships.

This reportage documents the harassment and those affected by it. It also covers the courtroom where gay activists are interrogated, the nightclub where they feel free to mingle and a lesbian family who live in fear of their three children being removed by the state because of their own personal sexuality. This is an attempt to understand what it’s like to live with forbidden love in modern Russia.

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