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Friday, May 17, 2024

Human rights chief reacts to call for checking ‘sexual orientation’ of officials

The head of Russia’s Human Rights Council has dismissed the proposal, which was sparked by a series of gay scandals

There is no real way to check the sexuality of state officials as part of a vetting process, the head of Russia’s Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeev, said on Tuesday, dismissing the concept as dubious. His statement came after several Russian MPs floated the idea of determining the candidates’ sexual preferences before appointing them to government positions.

Fadeev told the Govorit Moskva radio station that he is skeptical about this type of vetting process. “I have a question: how does one check a person’s sexual orientation? I believe it would be unnecessary, and I am afraid that it would be rather difficult to check,” he argued.

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Fadeev said the authorities should ultimately decide whether to appoint openly gay men. “However, I am not sure that introducing specific checks would be fair from a legal standpoint and I am not sure that it would even be realistic,” he added.

In 2022, Russia expanded its existing ban on ‘gay propaganda’ to minors and outlawed it altogether. Last year, Russia’s top court banned ‘the international LGBT movement’.

High-profile MP Aleksandr Khinstein recently accused two officials in charge of youth policies in Samara Region of being gay. Both men have since resigned. In the wake of the scandal, Khinstein alleged that “the gay lobby” has been trying to infiltrate government institutions.

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Conservative legislator Vitaly Milonov said on Tuesday that “all officials and MPs of all levels” should be subjected to “a set of tests” to determine if they are gay. “A psychologist can examine them,” he added.