Russian authorities have opened an investigation against U.S. technology company Apple over its inclusion of gay emojis in its operating system, according to police documents published by Russian news site Gazeta.ru.
A controversial Russian law which came into force in 2013 banned the public display of a wide range of LGBT symbols and images, classifying them as dangerous for promoting “nontraditional family types” to children.
Under this law, often referred to as the law on “gay propaganda”, police in Russia’s Kirov region have opened an administrative case to investigate whether the emojis available on Apple’s products which portray same-sex couples, or characters carrying LGBT Pride flags, are in violation of Russian law.
If found guilty, Apple could be fined up to 1 million roubles ($15,000) and face a country-wide ban on its goods if it does not pay the resulting fine. There have previously been several complaints about Apple’s LGBT emojis in Russia, however this is the first known instance of a police investigation being launched into the matter.
Earlier this summer, United Russia’s Moscow branch launched a controversial campaign to celebrate Russia’s day of the family, an annual celebration of traditional values, with a flag portraying a heterosexual couple and their children with the caption “A Real Family.”
Photo credit: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters