NewsLong-term persecution: Russia's struggle with LGBT rights

Long-term persecution: Russia's struggle with LGBT rights

President of Russia Vladimir Putin
President of Russia Vladimir Putin
ed. MMIK

1:07 PM EST, November 30, 2023

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has decreed the LGBT movement as an "extremist organization", thus banning its activities. This decision was made in a confidential session, raising concerns about escalating hostility towards individuals of varying sexual orientations.

On November 17, the Russian Ministry of Justice sought to prohibit the "International Public LGBT Movement" within the country. As per a report by Meduza, a discussion regarding this matter occurred on the following Friday. The session lasted for four hours, conducted behind closed doors. Meduza reports that only the Ministry of Justice representatives were allowed in the courtroom. Journalists were granted entry only to relay the decision.

Activists sound the alarm

The Supreme Court sided with the Ministry of Justice's request and decided to prohibit the "International LGBT Movement", labeling it as an "extremist organization". Yet, it remains unclear who constitutes the membership of this movement and how it operates.

Activists, in an interview with Meduza, caution that Friday's ruling could potentially stoke further animosity towards the LGBT community, thereby increasing incidents of harassment and persecution based solely on their openly-expressed sexual orientation.

LGBT community has faced long-term persecution

According to a report, which cites Meduza, individuals identified as LGBT have endured longstanding persecution in Russia. As early as 2013, a decade ago, "homosexual propaganda" amongst minors was prohibited. In 2022, the government enacted a law banning "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations and pedophilia" in cinema, the internet, advertising, and public spaces. Books catering to such themes have been pulled from bookstores, while "inappropriate" scenes have been excised from films.

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