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Friday, February 16, 2024

Russia bans ‘LGBT movement’

The country’s Supreme Court has designated the group as extremist

The Supreme Court of Russia outlawed the “international LGBT public movement” on Thursday, designating it an extremist group. The ruling also affects subsidiaries of the movement, the court announced, without naming specific organizations.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this month by the Russian Justice Ministry, argued that “the LGBT movement’s” activities qualified it as an “extremist group.” Specifically, it has been sowing “social and religious discord” in the country, the ministry claimed.

Read more: Kenya’s Supreme Court stirs controversy with LGBTQ rights affirmation

The hearings took place behind closed doors and lasted over four hours as the case involved more than 20 tomes of material, RIA Novosti reported, citing the Supreme Court’s press service. No representatives of the “international LGBT movement” were present during the hearings, with only an attorney for the Justice Ministry in attendance.

Over the past few years, Russia has gradually tightened its legislation aimed at countering the spread of so-called “LGBT ideology.” In 2013, the country outlawed the dissemination of such propaganda among minors, extending the measure to adults last December.

Read more: Russians becoming more negative about LGBTQ – Survey

Major fines were introduced for anyone found guilty of promoting “non-traditional sexual relations,” transgenderism and pedophilia.

However, it still remains unclear which pro-LGBT groups exactly the new ruling will affect in Russia. The country’s largest such group is the ‘Russian LGBT network,’ a civic platform established in the mid-2000s to bring together regional organizations advocating the rights of sexual minorities.

The network, which was designated as a “foreign agent” two years ago, is a part of LIGA – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association – a major Swiss-based NGO that has advocated gay rights since the late 1970s