Thursday, February 7, 2013

Russia’s Anti-Gay ‘Propaganda Law’: Assault On Freedom of Expression

January, 2013: Russia’s Parliament has backed a bill which outlaws the “propaganda of homosexuality among minors” in a move that will restrict fundamental human rights and is in breach of the country’s international obligations to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people from discrimination, Amnesty International said today. The State Duma voted almost unanimously in favor of the controversial measure with only one parliamentarian against and another abstaining, during the first reading. The law would make the “promotion of homosexuality among minors” an administrative offense in federal law, with fines of up to 500,000 roubles (US$ 16,200). “This law is an attack on the right to freedom of expression,” said David Diaz-Jogeix, Europe and Central Asia Programme Deputy Director at Amnesty International. There is no legal definition in the Russian law of what constitutes ‘propaganda of homosexuality’ and the law could be interpreted very loosely. They are going to punish people for something which is perfectly legitimate – expressing themselves, being themselves. GLBT activists organized today a 'Kissing Day' protest in front of the Duma. Kissing couples were pelted with eggs and verbally abused by supporters of the law. Police reportedly detained 20 GLBT activists. Find global GLBT rights resources at:
[PHOTO: Police reportedly detained 20 GLBT activists protesing the bill outside the State Duma]

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