Russian man refused job over 'gay looks'

Eduard Myra from Omsk, applied for a position as sales assistant at LLC Hardcore earlier this year but was unsuccessful. When he asked for feedback, he was sent a letter explaining his "feminine manner" and being "too well-groomed" suggested he was part of the LGBT community and his appearance promoted "non-traditional sexual relations".

The letter from the company's HR manager, featured in Omskinform website, claimed Mr Myra's "feminine manner of speaking and gestures, as well as appearance (too well-groomed and flamboyant clothes) create an impression that you are a sexual minority person who, by his behaviour and appearance, is propagating non-traditional sexual relations.''

In response, Mr Myra told Meduza news website: ''I don't know how I can be propagating anything. My clothes are reserved. The only thing that could probably confuse somebody is that my ear is pierced.''

The store says its decision was based on Russia's so-called gay propaganda law, which bans the "promotion of homosexuality" to minors. The controversial law, deemed discriminatory by the European Court of Human Rights, has sparked a lot of criticism from rights activist both in Russia and abroad.

Mr Myra took legal action against the store, asking for 50,000 roubles (£642) but the Pervomaisky District Court in Omsk ruled the shop award him the compensation of 30,000 roubles.

Hardcore store director Andrey Chistyakov did not think he was in the wrong and told liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta he couldn't guarantee how sportsmen would react when they saw him:

''Our customers are tough guys. If they see [that he is gay] they could be hostile towards him. I wasn't only concerned about the image of the store, I was concerned about this man's health.''

Social media reaction has been mixed after the story was posted on social network VKontakte (VK).

According to the Russian LGBT network, Mr Myra was asked questions relating to his appearance, not his experience and was told his application was declined because he looked and acted gay.

On Twitter, NapoleonTort felt: "The good thing is that a precedent has been set. And a stupid shop owner has paid for his ignorance!"