The Russian government has recently filed a lawsuit with the nation’s Supreme Court, seeking to declare the LGBTQ+ “international public movement” as extremist. This move is seen as yet another setback for the LGBTQ+ community in a country that has become increasingly conservative in recent years.
According to the Russian Justice Ministry, they have identified “signs and manifestations of extremist nature” in the activities of the LGBTQ+ movement in Russia, including the alleged incitement of social and religious discord. A hearing to consider the lawsuit has been scheduled for November 30th.
If the Supreme Court sides with the Justice Ministry, it remains unclear what specific consequences this label would entail for LGBTQ+ individuals in Russia. The ministry has not provided immediate comments or details regarding the potential implications.
This latest development represents a continuation of a decade-long crackdown on gay rights in Russia. In 2013, the Kremlin introduced the “gay propaganda” law, which prohibited any non-critical public portrayal of “nontraditional sexual relations” among minors. In 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin pushed through a constitutional reform that not only extended his rule but also outlawed same-sex marriage.
The Russian government’s rhetoric regarding protecting “traditional values” intensified in 2022 following its military involvement in Ukraine. This rhetoric was seen by human rights advocates as an attempt to legitimize the war and further restrict LGBTQ+ rights. That same year, a law was passed banning the public endorsement of “nontraditional sexual relations,” effectively stifling any public support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Further restrictions were introduced in 2022, including a law prohibiting gender transitioning procedures and gender-affirming care for transgender individuals. This legislation not only restricted medical interventions aimed at changing a person’s sex but also added hurdles regarding gender changes in official documents and public records.
Critics argue that these laws and restrictions perpetuate discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals in Russia. The government, however, denies these accusations, claiming that the rights of LGBTQ+ people are protected legally.
Despite Putin’s recent acknowledgment that LGBTQ+ individuals are part of society and entitled to recognition in the arts and culture, the Justice Ministry’s lawsuit has not received any public comments from the president.
1. What is the purpose of the Russian government’s lawsuit?
The Russian government is seeking to declare the LGBTQ+ “international public movement” as extremist.
2. How long has the crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights in Russia been going on?
The crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights in Russia began a decade ago.
3. What are some of the laws that have been introduced in recent years to restrict LGBTQ+ rights?
Some of the laws introduced include the “gay propaganda” law, the ban on public endorsement of “nontraditional sexual relations,” and restrictions on gender transitioning procedures and gender-affirming care for transgender individuals.
4. Are LGBTQ+ individuals protected legally in Russia?
The Russian government claims that the rights of LGBTQ+ people are protected legally.
– AP News