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These Photos Got A Lesbian Teacher Fired For An "Immoral Act" In Russia

A Russian court upheld the firing of a lesbian teacher for reportedly "committing an immoral act" by posting these pictures online.

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A St. Petersburg court ruled Tuesday that a school was right to fire a teacher because of photos of her kissing a woman that she posted to social media, the Russian LGBT rights group Coming Out said.

Evidence presented in court / Via

The photographs were originally published by the independent Russian news site Meduza.

The teacher, who has been identified in the press only by the pseudonym Anastasia, sued the school after she was fired in December. She taught music to children with autism.

"I have a lot invested in them," Anastasia said in a December interview. "That I won’t be there is going to be a blow to the kids, too.”

She was fired after Timur Isaev, who calls himself a "gay hunter," collected these photos and presented them to school officials.

Coming Out said Anastasia had not posted the photos publicly. Isaev also posted her photos, her real name, the names of several friends, and links to their social network profiles on the Russian social network VKontakte. The detailed dossier he assembled, which is still accessible online, includes the contact information for her school and a list of the teacher's "likes" of LGBT pages as "evidence" of her sexual orientation. Isaev was arrested in December on charges unrelated to his campaign outing LGBT teachers after he revealed his real surname, Bulatov, on some of the complaints he filed to the authorities.

Anastasia is one of more than two dozen teachers Isaev claims to have ousted from their jobs. The school said it was concerns from parents that led to her dismissal, according to Coming Out.

The court brought in a Russian Orthodox priest and an author of a text on the "spiritual and moral education of Russian students" to evaluate the pictures.

Evidence presented in court / Via

"The actions depicted in the photographs demonstrate extremely unacceptable behavior from a moral standpoint" because "the gesture translates to “go **** yourself,” the reviewers found, according to Meduza.

They pronounced this photo to be "unacceptable from a moral standpoint" because it is "promoting stupidity and stupid behavior."

Evidence presented in court / Via

"These actions demean and humiliate others, challenge the authority and image of the teaching staff in the eyes of the public, and propagate obscene behavior in public," the reviewers wrote.


This one was judged "humiliating and demeaning to others" and showing "contempt for society."

Evidence presented in court / Via

"Kissing on the lips in the style of 'lots of tongue' pointedly shows that the women are very likely to be in a close intimate relationship."

Anastasia told Meduza she will appeal the decision all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

Susie Armitage is the Global Managing Editor and is based in New York.

Contact Susie Armitage at

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