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December 28, 2013

Maria Maksakova said Russia has suffered extremely negative consequences – artists lose their jobs and sexual minorities are attacked

Renowned Russian opera singer Maria Maksakova has become one of the few people in the ruling United Russia party to publicly oppose the gay propaganda law.

The 36-year-old messo soprano soloist with St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater said the law has ‘extremely negative consequences.’

January 25, 2013

Another million Russians banned from ‘promoting homosexuality’ as national anti-gay law comes back on agenda at the State Duma

Russia’s State Duma, or parliament, is set to debate and vote on a law against ‘gay propaganda’ at 5pm Moscow time today (25 January).

The debate comes as news breaks that Kaliningrad region, with a population of almost a million, passed a similar law yesterday (24 January).

It’s the 10th Russian region to pass the law which forbids ‘homosexual propaganda’ to minors which it links to pedophilia.

Similar legislation already exists in St Petersburg, Ryazan, Arkangelsk, Kostroma, Magadansk, Samar, Bashkortostan, Krasnodar and Novosibirsk.

January 22, 2013

Russia State Duma again postpones debate on law to ban ‘gay propaganda’ to minors across the country

The Russian State Duma has postponed a nationwide ban on ‘gay propaganda’ indefinitely by returning the bill to the preparatory stage.

The legislation was originally due to be debated on 19 December last year but that was put off to today (22 January).

Since then, Russia has come under international pressure to drop the proposals.

December 13, 2012

The European Parliament has told Russia and Ukraine to drop gay gag laws and said LGBT issues must be a foreign policy priority for the EU

The European Parliament has told Russia and Ukraine to ditch plans to fine and jail people who talk positively about gay issues.

The LGBT ‘gay laws’ already exist in nine regions of Russia but now the Duma parliament is planning countrywide legislation. Similar proposals are also being debated in Ukraine.

The laws are used to ban gay prides, silence gay organizations stop young people being given positive messages about being LGBT, and to crack down on dissidents.

December 12, 2012

Politician Vitaly Milonov, the author of St Petersburg's 'gay propaganda' law, wants to sue Born This Way singer over LGBT rights speech

A St Petersburg politician who authored the Russian city's anti-gay law is taking legal action against Lady Gaga for speaking out for LGBT rights during her show.

Vitaly Milonov, the United Russia party deputy who created the controversial St Petersburg act that prohibits ‘the promotion of homosexuality to minors’, claims the pop superstar broke the law at the beginning of her concert in the city at the weekend.

December 11, 2012

HRW calls on Duma to drop homophobic bill that would fine people for talking openly about LGBT issues

Russia’s parliament should reject a proposed bill banning gay ‘propaganda’, Human Rights Watch said today (11 December).

The Duma, the lower chamber of parliament, is scheduled to discuss plans to fine individuals, government officials and organizations that ‘promote’ homosexuality to anyone under 18.

December 7, 2012

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.

September 13, 2012

Punk rockers Pussy Riot, jailed after protesting Russian President Vladamir Putin, may be released says Dmitry Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev the Russian Prime Minister has called for three members of the punk band Pussy Riot to be freed.

And he has indicated their release could be imminent since their case comes up for appeal on 1 October.

The band members were arrested for performing a raucous prayer inside Moscow's main cathedral asking the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Vladimir Putin as he headed into the election that handed him a third term as president.

July 21, 2012

St Petersburg Police have revealed that 73 people have been prosecuted for 'homosexual propaganda' since the city introduced its ban, just days after eight were arrested trying to hold a gay pride march in the city

73 people have been prosecuted for violating St Petersburg’s so called ‘homosexual propaganda’ ban in the first four months that the legislation has been in place, St Petersburg police revealed on Friday.

‘73 people have been prosecuted for homosexual propaganda and one person for paedophile propaganda,’ St Petersburg Police Chief Sergei Umnov said on Friday in a statement released by St Petersburg Police.

June 25, 2012

A new law in Russia fining people for ‘unsanctioned rallies’ could also be used to crack down on gay prides, says Amnesty

New laws restricting the right to peaceful assembly in Russia will affect gay pride marchers, warns human rights group Amnesty International.

President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party’s bill hiking up fines for protesters taking part in unsanctioned rallies was passed through the country’s parliament, the Duma, in a matter of weeks and will become law once he has signed it off.

May 2, 2012

17 gay activists were arrested in Russia's second largest city for unfurling rainbow flags

Seventeen gay activists were arrested at a May Day rally in St Petersburg after unfurling rainbow flags.

The campaigners were detained by police in the Russian city yesterday (1 May) at a protest attended by 300,000 people, led by the ruling United Russia party, as well as Communist and nationalist groups.

‘The first activists who unfurled their flags were detained. Some tried to raise posters, they were also detained,’ Yury Gavrikov, a local gay rights leader, told The Guardian.

March 12, 2012

Leading activist Nikolai Alekseev in lawsuit against St Petersburg homophobe Vitaly Milonov for Europe jibe

Russia’s leading gay activist has filed a lawsuit against a St. Petersburg politician who has accused him of accepting financing from overseas for gay rights campaigns.

Nikolai Alekseev is claiming a million roubles (€25,800, $33,800) in a defamation lawsuit against Vitaly Milonov, the United Russia party deputy and author of the controversial St Petersburg act that prohibits ‘the promotion of homosexuality to minors’ which has now been signed into law.