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European Court of Human Rights rules against 'gay propaganda' law in Russia

Russian gay rights groups hope to see the end of this homophobic law

European Court of Human Rights rules against 'gay propaganda' law in Russia
Russia's 'gay propaganda' laws also bans Pride and other pro-LGBTI protests

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against the ‘gay propaganda’ law in Russia.

Nearly every judge in Strasbourg said Putin’s law was ‘discriminatory, reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia’.

The only judge to disagree was the representative from Russia.

Three activists had been found guilty for protesting against the law in 2009-2012 – outside a secondary school in Ryazan, a children’s library in Archangel and an administrative building in St Petersburg.

The court rejected the Russian government’s claim the law was needed to ‘protect morality’.

It found the government had ‘failed to demonstrate how freedom of expression on LGBT issues would devalue or otherwise adversely affect actual and existing “traditional families” or would compromise their future’.

Such laws, the judges said, ’embodied a predisposed bias on the part of a heterosexual majority against a homosexual minority’.

They ordered Russia to pay each of the activists damages of between €8,000 (£7,000; $8,900) and €20,000.

Adopted in 2013, the law banning promotion of homosexuality among people under 18 has led to a vast increase of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attacks.

Support groups for LGBTI minors have been shut down, gay festivals have been raided and attack groups torturing and murdering LGBTI people have surfaced.

Russia has also banned images of Putin ‘in drag‘, and any attempts to hold a Pride have been immediately stopped.

Veronica Lapina, spokesperson for the Russian LGBT Network, applauded the the European Court of Human Rights’ decision.

‘This law is discriminatory to LGBTI people in Russia.’

‘This law is discriminatory to LGBTI people in Russia,’ she told Gay Star News.

‘This is just ruling. This informs everything we have been talking about for years. Europe has finally made its voice known of what is happening in Russia in terms of protecting people’s sexual identity.’

However, Lapina doubted it would bring much change to Russian law. Russia’s Constitutional Court can throw out European rulings, and it will likely not overturn this one.’

‘We could finally appeal this discriminatory law,’ Lapina added.


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