Critics say the homophobic laws are due to the upcoming presidential election in Russia. They forbid the public mention of homosexuality or gender identity to minors.
With this resolution, the European Parliament ‘strongly condemns the adoption by the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg of a law against progaganda on sexual orientation and equally condemns similar laws adopted in the Ryazan, Arkhangelsk and Kostroma regions.’
The parliament further ‘calls on all Russian authorities to stop restricting freedom of expression in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity.’
Presented by five political groups, the EU resolution recalls that Russia is a signatory to several human rights agreements, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
If signed into law by the Legislative Assembly in St Petersburg, Russia would be in clear breach of EU human rights policies.
But the MEPs want further diplomatic intervention from Catherine Ashton, vice-president of the European Commission. The parliament concludes its statement by calling on ‘the vice-president of the commission/ high representative to convey the European Union’s opposition to these laws.’