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Russian High Court Upholds Anti-Gay Law, Activists Fined

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Dec 5, 2013
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Russian gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev
Russian gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev   (Source:P Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Russia’s highest court ruled this week that the country’s highly controversial "homosexual propaganda" law is constitutional, according to Russia & India Report.

Leading Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alexeyev filed a complaint against the law, but the judges sided with lawmakers that originally passed the measure, claiming that it was needed to protect children from the LGBT community.

Alexeyev, the founder of Moscow Pride, asked the court to rule on the law based on prejudice, allowing for discrimination against LGBT people. The judges, however, ruled that the Constitution allows Russia to protect motherhood, childhood and family. This means lawmakers must "take measures to protect children from information, propaganda and campaigns that can harm their health and moral and spiritual development."

The judges ruled that the "homosexual propaganda" law protected children and " that the exercise of civil rights and freedoms could not be permitted at the cost of other people’s rights," Russia & India Reports writes.

The judges made their ruling on Oct. 24, but it wasn’t released to the public until Tuesday.

To make matters worse, Alexeyev, along with LGBT activist Yaroslav Yevtushenko, was fined on Tuesday for breaking the same law he was trying to shutdown, according to the Moscow Times reports. The newspaper also reports that this is the first time the national "homosexual propaganda" law has been enforced and the first time someone has been fined under the law.

Others, including Alexeyv, have been fined under St. Petersburg’s "homosexual propaganda" law last year.

Alexeyev and Yevtushenko were each hit with a 4,000-ruble fine ($120) for holding a banner that read, "Gay propaganda doesn’t exist. People don’t become gay, people are born gay," near a library in the northern city of Arkhangelsk. As BuzzFeed reports, a court found them guilty of "violating Part 1 of Article 6.21 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, which prohibits the promotion of ’non-traditional sexual relations’ among minors."

"It is the first in the history of Russian court decisions on prosecution for promoting non-traditional sexual relations under the new federal law," Alexeyev said, according to Gay Russia (via BuzzFeed), after he left the court hearing.

Comments

  • Blondie , 2013-12-05 15:07:23

    .... This means lawmakers must "take measures to protect children from information, propaganda and campaigns that can harm their health and moral and spiritual development." ............... please allow me to translate that into real-world words. My translation says, "take measures to protect children from information that might open their eyes and minds to the reality of humankind and respect for others, and close their minds to totalitarianism, draconian attitudes and how to hate on a global scale." They must not allow their "children" to think. Only to follow out datad, proven wrong, Russian propaganda. (ohh how Russians LOVE that word). Sheesh! >:/


  • Anonymous, 2013-12-11 09:05:54

    Russian culture has always been about 35 to 45 years behind the West. Remember Anita Bryant and her save the children campaign? I am optimistic that they will eventually catch up to where we are, let’s stay cool.


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