24 May 2012
On 24 May St. Petersburg city court dismissed the complaint filed by St. Petersburg LGBT organization Coming Out against the "homosexual propaganda" law. The plaintiff's arguments that the law unclearly defines the objective aspect of offense and violates the norm of the Federal Law on "On fundamental guarantees of the rights of children in the Russian Federation", which obligates the government to protect minors from social intolerance, were dismissed. All of the plaintiff's motions were declined, including those to call experts – psychologists, sexologists, and philologists, whose testimonies could clarify the issues raised by the law.
At the same time, representatives of the city parliament and the city governor failed to cite any scientific studies to support the premise that information about homosexuality harms minors. They were also unable to provide definitions of the terms "propaganda", "bisexualism", "transgenderism", and "traditional and non-traditional conjugal relations", dismissing them as "well known by everyone" and "not requiring explanation." It's important to note that already today policemen have a difficult time deciding what constitutes "propaganda", as a result unlawfully arresting people for wearing rainbow suspenders during street demonstrations.
The reasons for the court decision will be made public on May 31.
Similar ruling was carried out by the Arkhangelsk regional court on May 22nd on the Arkhangelsk "propaganda" law.
Coming Out and the Russian LGBT Network will file appeals to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.