Russia's former president tells journalists the country has no plans to pass an anti-gay propaganda bill on a federal level
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Russia does not need any law banning gay propaganda.
The former president added that his statement reflects his position and the position of the ruling United Russia party.
‘Not every moral issue, behavioral habit or communication issue between people should be regulated,’ Medvedev said in response to a question on banning homosexuality.
‘This is why not all relationships between people are subject to a legal interpretation.’
He added: ‘Probably this issue does not concern too many people in the country, and it’s not discussed at all levels.’
His words come amid growing concern about a national anti-gay ‘propaganda’ bill, similar to the one passed in St Petersburg, that threatens to silence Russia’s gay community.
Gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev welcomed the PM’s statement, saying it sent a ‘strong signal’ that the law will not be passed on a federal level.
However, he told Gay Star News that after the press conference Medvedev revealed he was ignorant of any plans to introduce legislation which would see fines imposed for ‘spreading homosexual propaganda’ among minors, effectively gagging gay and transgender people nationwide.
Alekseev said: ‘When he was talking to the journalist off the air, the prime minister said it was all bullshit because he hadn’t heard of any discussions in the Duma and that there were no discussions planned. He said there are no such laws proposed in the Duma.
‘But it’s a mistake because it is clearly proposed for discussion on the 19 December.’
St Petersburg and the Russian states of Arkhangelsk, Ryazan and Kostroma have already adopted anti-gay laws.
Alekseev hopes the Russian leader’s comments will discourage other states from passing similar bills.
The laws have been roundly condemned by Europe, the US State Department, human rights organizations and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campaigners and individuals as well as their straight allies.