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Kazakh Ad Agency Fined Over 'Kissing Poets' Banner

The ad plays on the fact that the gay club sits at the intersection of streets named after 19th-century Kazakh singer Qurmanghazy Saghyrbaiuly and Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin.

A Kazakh advertisement company has been fined for creating an online ad banner for a gay club in Almaty that sparked protests last month.

A court in Almaty found Havas Worldwide Kazakhstan Company guilty of "advertising goods and services banned in Kazakhstan."

The court ruled on September 24 that the company's director, Daria Khamitzhanova, must pay a $700 fine and her company a $1,000 fine.

The case against the company was filed by Almaty youth authorities.

The ad was created for the "Studio 69" club in Almaty. It depicts popular 19th-century Kazakh composer and folk singer Qurmanghazy Saghyrbaiuly kissing Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin.

The club is located at the intersection of Qurmanghazy and Pushkin streets in Almaty.

Homosexual relations were decriminalized in Kazakhstan in the 1990s, but intolerance toward homosexuals remains strong.

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