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IKEA Scuttles Russian Magazine over Anti-Gay Law

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA decides to can its Russian magazine rather than risk violating an anti-gay propaganda law.

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This article originally appeared in The Moscow Times


Swedish furniture retailer IKEA says it will no longer issue a Russian edition of its Family Live magazine to avoid violating the country's anti-gay propaganda law.

<figcaption>The retailer said in its statement that the magazine has the same contents in all 25 countries where it is published</figcaption>
The retailer said in its statement that the magazine has the same contents in all 25 countries where it is published

The retailer said in a statement on its website that the online magazine, which features various families and shows how they have decorated their homes, does not discriminate based on sexual orientation and should not have an age restriction.

It is illegal in Russia to promote "non-traditional sexual relations to minors" under a controversial 2013 law. Most publications that contain even a reference to the existence of homosexuality are now marked "18+," as the law does not specify what constitutes "promotion."

The retailer said in its statement that the magazine has the same contents in all 25 countries where it is published.

But in 2013, the magazine's Russian edition omitted an article about a British lesbian couple raising a baby — a move that Swedish gay rights activists reportedly denounced as cowardly.

The magazine has also caught flak for deleting women from photos for its Saudi Arabian catalogue.

The store was harshly criticized by officials in Italy in 2011, when an ad appeared on billboards showing two men holding hands with a caption about how the store is "open to all families."

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