IKEA will shutter the website for its magazine, IKEA Family Live, in Russia to avoid running afoul of the country's ban on "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" among minors, the company announced Friday.
"When we do business, we observe the legislation of the countries where we work, therefore to avoid violations, we have taken the decision to stop publishing the magazine in Russia," IKEA said in a statement carried by AFP.
The Swedish furniture chain has featured same-sex couples and their families in the magazine, which is published in 25 countries. It came under fire internationally in 2013 for excluding a story on Clara and Kirsty, a British lesbian couple, from its Russian edition after the propaganda ban was passed. Activists held a kiss-in at the Brooklyn, New York, IKEA store to protest the move.
IKEA told BuzzFeed News at the time that the decision was based on advice from Russian legal experts. The vaguely written ban on so-called "gay propaganda" effectively outlaws any information that presents a positive image of LGBT people. "It is a law that has been widely criticized but one that we have to comply with," an IKEA spokesman told BuzzFeed News.
IKEA's press service told AFP it had not received any official warnings from the Russian government around its content. If the company was found to have violated the law, it could face a fine or the order to cease operations for 90 days, the French news service reported.