In a blow for international LGBT rights, lawmakers in the
Russian federal city of St.Petersburg have passed legislation which
prohibits the so-called promotion of homosexuality.
The law, which passed its third and final reading yesterday, also
mentions paedophilia in the same breath.
The controversial legislation - which has been heavily campaigned
against by LGBT activists - will see people fined up to $16,000 and
organisations up to $16,000 for the "promotion" of homosexuality
It would also put a blanket ban on gay Pride events, which have
been a contentious issue in recent years.
The law also restricts discussion about lesbian, bisexual and
The legislation, which has been forced through without any
public discussion and has no scientific or medical grounding, has
been slammed for contributing directly to intolerance.
Since November, 2011 when the bill first became an issue of
parliamentary debate in Saint Petersburg numerous organizations,
both Russian and international, as well as governments of various
countries from around the world have demanded the bill be
withdrawn, calling for the observance of rights of LGBT people in
Twenty-nine of 50 legislators voted for the law with five
against and one abstention.
It follows similar bans in the southern Astrakhan and central
Ryazan and Kostroma regions in Russia.
Earlier this month, the Vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup
told PinkPaper.com: "Tchaikovsky and Constantinovich must be
rolling over in their graves. Such laws are simply unacceptable; if
Russia isn't serious about respecting the European Convention on
Human Rights, it should simply call the bluff and leave the Council
of Europe altogether.
"And more than statements, these grave human rights abuses must
have consequences for the EU-Russia relationship!"