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Human Rights Activists Challenge Homophobic Law in St. Petersburg City Court

posted 3 Apr 2012, 14:11 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 3 Apr 2012, 14:15 ]
3 April 2012

Yesterday, on April 2, 2012, LGBT-organization Coming Out launched an informational campaign the "Week against homophobia" in St. Petersburg. The Week was opened with the infamous homophobic law being challenged in the city court. This step could also not be taken earlier, because according to the Russian legislation citizens can challenge a law that in their opinion contradicts Federal legislation only after it has taken effect. Thus it was possible to file a suit only after March 30 when the law in question has come into effect.

According to the activists the law "on propaganda" is inconsistent with the federal legislation. In particular it contradicts the administrative code of Russia by using such terms as "propaganda", "bisexualsm", "transgenderism", "traditional and nontraditional family relationships", none of which are defined anywhere in the legislation. Thus, it is impossible to define the object of the violation and arbitrary interpretations are likely to arise. Any public mention of homosexuality may be considered as an administrative offense.

Moreover, the adopted norm violates the principle of the equality in front of the law, as it states the inequality of "traditional" and "nontraditional family relationships".

LGBT-activists also point out that according to the law on the general guarantees of children's' rights in Russian Federation minors are guaranteed protection from the propaganda of social inequality or intolerance. The law signed by St. Petersburg governor on the contrary asserts social inferiority of same-sex families and is likely to lead to the incitement of social hatred and the increase of violence against LGBT-people.

"There is nothing immoral in the information that there are different sexual orientations and different families, that is why we don't mean to cut our activities in any way. We are not going to put up with the laws that are in contradiction to the knowledge of modern science and offend hundreds of thousands of St. Petersburg citizens", - commented Mikhail Belodedov, coordinator of the "Week against homophobia".


The Week against homophobia is a annual national campaign aimed at drawing attention of the media, civil society activists and society at large to the problem of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, to the problem of hate crimes against LGBT people and daily homophobia.

Olga Lenkova
Communications manager
LGBT organization "Coming Out"

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