December 5, 2023
Report: Russian Mapmaker Now Gathering Info on Gay Clubs
Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 1 MIN.
In less than a week, the Russian Supreme Court's ruling that the LGBTQ+ "movement" is "extremist" has spawned raids on gay bars, clubs, and saunas, effectively shifting the focus from gay "activism" to gay social life.
That oppression seems set to expand and deepen with a digital mapmaking concern, 2GIS, having "ordered its staff to gather data on all gay clubs in the country," according to Novaya Gazeta Europe.
The news outlet cited a report from the Russian language outlet iStories in which "a source" shared evidence of a communication to workers that directed them to "check individual entries and file complaints in cases of 'compromising' photos or reviews."
The concern's management referenced the Russian Supreme Court's ruling in its directive, telling employees, "You must have heard that the Supreme Court has recognized the LGBT community as an extremist movement and banned it in Russia," and declaring, "it is important we check our information."
Police action against gay clubs and bars is not the only threat such gathering spots face. Novaya Gazeta noted that "St. Petersburg queer bar Central Station... announced its closure Friday. The owners of the premises had refused to extend their lease."
Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.