#TrendingNews Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Lifestyle News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World News
LGBTQ+ Community At Risk: Russia's Push To Label Global Movement “Extremist”

In a recent development at the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, proceedings have commenced regarding a significant case brought forth by the Ministry of Justice. The lawsuit aims to designate the "international LGBT movement" as an extremist organization, marking November 30, 2023 as the initiation of the legal deliberations. Should the case be approved, authorities would have the ability to pursue individuals associated with this group using the "extremist" sections of Russia’s Criminal Code. 

Being a far-reaching umbrella for continuous legislative abuse by the authorities since 2002, anti-extremist policy already targets nearly every manifestation running contrary to the Kremlin narrative. Sova Research Center draws upon several instances that occurred in July 2023, including yet not limited to the discreditation of authorities, Armed Forces, government agencies, support for the Russian political opposition, and the dissemination of ‘fakes about army’ – in other words, any manifestation of personal and ideological disagreement.

Notably, the initial hearing is being conducted in a closed setting. Exclusive access to the courtroom has been granted solely to representatives from the Ministry of Justice, according to reports from “Mediazona.” Meanwhile, journalists have been restricted to a designated area specifically for broadcasting purposes with a pledge to eventually gain entry into the courtroom for the announcement of the decision.

This Ministry of Justice lawsuit, filed on November 17, 2023, seeks to impose a ban on the "international public movement of LGBT" within Russia. The Ministry has refrained from specifying the nature of this movement, as well asits constituents or the organizational structure.

Interviews conducted by "Meduza" with activists express concerns that such a prohibition could exacerbate hostility and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, there is a genuine fear that individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ might face persecution merely for their existence under this potential ban.

Igor Kochetkov, a human rights defender and one of the founders of the 'Russian LGBT Network,' expressed: "We understand that this case is a prelude to political repression. Moreover, individuals who might face these repressions—specifically referring to LGBTQ+ activists—are being deprived of their right to defence. The closed-door nature of the session, the specific accusations being made, and against whom they are directed, remains entirely unclear."

"This is not just about homophobia and transphobia anymore—it's about something entirely different: the violation of fundamental human rights to protection and fair judicial proceedings. We're striving to reclaim our right to defence through all lawful means. We fully grasp that the odds are slim because this is not a matter of law but one steeped in politics and ideology. Nevertheless, we must utilize all the opportunities afforded to us by Russian legislation." he added.

In Russia, there has been a persistent history of targeting individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, beginning in 2013with the prohibition of "gay propaganda" directed at minors. Then, in 2022, a law was introduced prohibiting the promotion of "non-traditional sexual relations and paedophilia." This legal shift prompted bookstores and libraries to remove specific books deemed violating this law. Additionally, references to same-sex relationships were systematically edited out from various TV series and video games. Recent developments in June 2023 witnessed online movie theatres in Russia being penalized for showcasing what authorities classified as "LGBT propaganda" within their films and series.

Share This Post On


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in