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Anti-Gay Russian Actor Sued By LGBT Activist

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Jan 30, 2014
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Ivan Okhlobystin
Ivan Okhlobystin  (Source:AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

A gay rights activist said Wednesday he will sue a Russian sitcom actor and businessman who made headlines recently for saying that he wanted to burn gays alive in furnaces, Russia’s RIA Novosti reports.

Activist and plaintiff Nikolai Bayev took to Facebook Wednesday and wrote that he didn’t expect the suit he filed against Ivan Okhlobystin to succeed in Russia but hopes he can take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

According to Bayev’s lawyer Andrey Zaytsev, Bayey is suing the actor, who is best known for his role on Russia’s answer to "Scrubs," for 30,000 rubles ($850 USD).

Unsurprisingly, Okhlobystin, 47, reacted to the lawsuit on his Twitter account.

"The very existence of the lawsuit offends my religious sentiment," the actor tweeted, according to RIA Novosti.

Bayev also said on Facebook that he has requested the Prosecutor General’s Office to open against Okhlobystin on extremism charges. "Extremism" is in Russia’s Criminal Code and punishes Islamists, radical nationalists and outspoken opposition activists, RIA Novosti reports. Bayev added that extremism has never been used against anti-gay activists.


ussian reality television star and socialite Kseniya Sobchak, left, and Russian film director and actor Ivan Okhlobystin.  (Source:AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

Okhlobystin made international headlines last month for violent remarks he made about gay people.

"I myself would shove all live gays into a furnace," he told fans in December. "This is Sodom and Gomorrah, I as a believer in God can not treat this indifferently, this is a live threat to my kids!... I do not want my kids to think that faggots are normal. This is lavender fascism. If a person can not choose someone of an opposite sex for procreation -- this is an overt sign of mental abnormality, so they should be denied of voting rights."

He refused to apologize for his remarks and even took to Twitter to urge Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring back the country’s sodomy laws.
After it was revealed he was the creative director of Euroset, Russia’s largest cell phone retailer, more than 15 LGBT groups came together to urge Apple to cut ties from the company. After the scandal, however, Okhlobystin resigned his position.

Nevertheless, just a few days of departing from Euroset, the actor landed a similar job at Baon, a Russian apparel company.


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