[14 September 2012] - The Supreme Court of Russia upheld the Arkhangelsk region's ban on "gay propaganda" on Thursday, but ruled that gay pride parades and other demonstrations in support of gay rights are legal. According to the court, the ban applies only to direct appeals to minors to engage in homosexual activity and even then information about homosexuality can still be provided to minors as long as it is neutral in tone. The ban, which has been proposed to extend nationally, imposes a fine of USD $1,600 for "gay propaganda." Russian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist group Russian LGBT Network approved of the ruling that merely having gay rights demonstrations was not illegal, but still disagrees with any assertion that homosexuality harms family values.
Russia has long struggled with the acceptance of homosexuality. In August LGBT activists brought suit over the Russian Justice Ministry's refusal to register Pride House for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Also that month Russia's best-known gay rights activist Nikolay Alexeyev lost a court challenge to Moscow's 100-year municipal ban on gay pride marches. He intends to appeal the decision to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which has already ordered Russia to pay Alexeyev an award of €12,000 for non-pecuniary damages plus €17,510 for costs and attorneys fees (USD $41,090 total) for rejecting his license application for a gay pride gathering. In March St. Petersburg announced that the city's governor had signed into law a bill that would impose fines against people convicted of promoting homosexuality, including gays or lesbians who are open about their sexuality. Individuals convicted under the law would be subject to fines between 3,000 and 5,000 rubles (US $100-160), while organisations could be fined up to 50,000 rubles for "promoting" homosexuality. In December Senior Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Surrey Paul Johnson wrote that the latest ban by Russian authorities on the promotion of homosexuality to minors is only the most recent violation of the ECHR ruling on the subject.
- DISCRIMINATION: Russia cautions parents over same-sex UK host families (23 July 2012)
- RUSSIA: Gay rights activists arrested for violating new law (10 April 2012)
- RUSSIA: Lawmakers introduce bill to ban promotion of homosexuality to 'protect' minors (30 March 2012)
- RUSSIA: Judge bans Olymbic Pride House for gay athletes for being 'extremist' (16 March 2012)
- RUSSIA: Saint Petersburg bans 'promotion' of homosexuality to 'protect' children and youth (9 February 2012)
- POLAND: US gov't says Catholic Church is central in promoting homophobia in Poland (12 September 2011)
- EUROPE: Clear laws needed to protect trans persons from discrimination and hatred (July 2011)
- LITHUANIA: Euro-politicians again hit out at anti-gay proposals by Lithuanian MPs (20 January 2011)
- ALBANIA: Govt passes model law on LGBT discrimination (11 February 2010)
- LITHUANIA: New law bans discussion of homosexuality to 'protect minors' (4 June 2009)
- CRIN issues: sexuality - why homophobia is a child rights issue.
- Read references to children in the Yogyokarta Principles on sexual orientation and gender identity
- EUROPE: Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States (April 2009)
- GLOBAL CAMPAIGN to decriminalise homosexuality
- More on children's rights in Russia
Previous News release items
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- 17/09/2012: MALAYSIA: Outrage over seminars on 'how to spot gay children'
- 17/09/2012: DISCRIMINATION: Extremist Christian group publishes hateful, anti-gay pamphlet…for kids
- 17/09/2012: ROMA: New deal between France and Romania on Roma returns must not breach right to free movement
- 17/09/2012: SYRIA: U.N. expands list of Syrian war crimes suspects (Arabic)
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Last updated 18/09/2012 13:58:27