Alevtina is one of several teachers who lost their jobs in St. Petersburg after being outed by an anti-gay activist. While most resigned quietly, the 27-year-old music teacher decided to fight her dismissal in court — an unusual step in Russia where gays have faced increasing pressure in recent years.
The rising anti-gay sentiment has coincided with the passage of a controversial Russian law that prohibits exposing children to gay "propaganda." The law has made it easy to target teachers, because they work directly with children.
The hardening of lines against gays is thrown into stark relief by a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. The survey found that Russians' tolerance of gays has plummeted in recent years, with 51% of those surveyed late last year saying they would not want a gay neighbor. This was up from 38% in 2012. Read More