* Investigators says man was killed because he was gay
* Follows killing of a gay man last month
* Activists say bill to ban gay "propaganda" fuels crime
By Steve Gutterman
MOSCOW, June 3 A man was murdered in Russia
because he was gay, investigators said on Monday, the second
such killing in less than a month, and activists fear homophobic
violence is being fuelled by President Vladimir Putin's
Three men in a village on the Kamchatka peninsula on
Russia's eastern coast stabbed and trampled the victim to death
last week, the country's Investigative Committee said.
The suspects, who are under arrest, put the 39-year-old's
body in his car and set in on fire, it said in a statement.
Interfax news agency reported the victim was a senior
administrator at an airport.
It is unusual for Russian authorities to link crimes with
homophobia. Last month investigators in the southern city of
Volgograd said a 23-year-old man was tortured and killed after
revealing he was gay during a drinking session.
Activists said that killing was an example of rising
violence against homosexuals, which they fear is being fuelled
by a bill backed by Putin's allies in parliament that would ban
spreading homosexual "propaganda" among minors.
"Now the deputy director of an airport has been killed in
Kamchatka. Because he was gay. And it's going to get worse,"
Nikolai Alexeyev, Russia's most prominent gay rights activist,
said on Twitter.
Critics say the bill would effectively ban gay rights
rallies and events. Alexeyev has said it is part of a
"homophobic policy" that is giving Russians carte blanche to
Homosexuality was decriminalised after the 1991 collapse of
the Soviet Union, but a poll by the independent Levada Center
last month found 38 percent of Russians believe gay people need
treatment and 13 percent said they should face prosecution.
Putin has championed socially conservative values and the
moral authority of the Russian Orthodox Church during his new
term which began in May last year, after a series of large
street protests by mostly liberal Russians in big cities.
Putin has said Russia does not discriminate against gay
people but has criticised them for failing to increase the
Russia plans to amend legislation to ensure foreign same-sex
couples do not adopt Russian children, after Putin said last
month that a French law allowing same-sex marriage went against
traditional Russian values.
(Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Elizabeth Piper and