The short press release does not specify whether Moscow is targeting the LGBT+ movement in general or whether it is designating one or more specific organizations. In the meantime, the Russian Ministry of Justice announced on Friday November 17 that it had requested a ban on “extremism” of “international LGBT social movement” and that a hearing to this effect is scheduled for November 30 at the Russian Supreme Court.
“The Ministry of Justice has filed an administrative request with the Supreme Court (…) in order to classify the international LGBT social movement as extremist and ban its activities on the territory of the Russian Federation »he said.
Russia, which presents itself as a moral bulwark against the decadence of the West, is increasing conservative measures targeting LGBT+ communities, in particular claiming to defend children against behavior deemed deviant. In November 2022, Russian deputies adopted a law prohibiting the “propaganda” LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc.), vote which took place in the midst of a conservative hardening of the Kremlin accompanying the military offensive in Ukraine. It now bans “propaganda” LGBT+ to all audiences, in the media, on the Internet, in books and films.
During the summer of 2023, the Russian Parliament banned all gender transition, Russia having long had one of the most liberal laws in the world on this subject.
Homophobic and transphobic policy
For human rights defenders, Vladimir Putin and his regime above all pursue a homophobic and transphobic policy. “The Russian government is once again forgetting that the LGBT+ community is people, citizens of this country like any other. And now they don’t just want to remove us from public space, but ban us as a social group.”reacted to Agence France-Presse (AFP) Dilia Gafourova, director of the Sphere fund, an association for the defense of LGBT+ rights in Russia.
“It is a typical measure of repressive and undemocratic regimes: persecuting the most vulnerable”she continued, promising to ” to fight “ for LGBT+ rights in Russia.
Russia’s leading LGBT+ NGO, LGBT-Set, ranked at the end of 2021 “foreign agent”, an infamous label which complicates its operation and exposes it to fines, or even a ban. Since 2006, the NGO has been helping sexual minorities across Russia, particularly in the Russian republic of Chechnya, where the authorities are particularly hostile to them.
The Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta and several NGOs revealed in 2017 that gays were arrested and sometimes tortured and murdered by the police in Chechnya.
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