The anti-LGBT+ "propaganda law" reinforces hostile negative attitudes against LGBT+ people in society and has devastating consequences on queer lives. That's why it should be repealed once and for all.
Update – 24 November 2022: Today, the bill strengthening the anti-LGBT+ "propaganda law" was passed by the Russian State Duma – the lower house of the Russian parliament – after three readings. Read more here.
Update – 27 October 2022: Today, a bill toughening the anti-LGBT+ "propaganda law" was passed unanimously by the Russian State Duma – the lower house of the Russian parliament. Now the bill needs to go through two more rounds of votes in the Russian State Duma, then be approved by the upper house of the Russian parliament and, finally, ratified by President Vladimir Putin. If enacted, any public mention of LGBT+ topics will be banned. Now is the time to ramp up the pressure and show solidarity with queer Russians.
Update – 12 July 2022: Today, a well-known Russian journalist, Yuri Dud, was fined for 'gay propaganda', just because he interviewed a gay musician over a year ago. This case shows the reality that, since the start of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the anti-LGBT+ "propaganda law" is being used more frequently and arbitrarily. And now, there’s a real possibility that the law will be made even stricter later this year. We will keep fighting back until this law is finally repealed.
The so-called "law on the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors" was adopted in Russia in 2013. It is a series of amendments to the law "On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development" in the Code of Administrative Offences, and various other laws.
In Russia, today, for "LGBT+ propaganda" you can be fined up to 100,000 RUB if you are an individual, and up to 1 million RUB if you are a legal organisation. Websites where, according to law enforcement agencies, "propaganda is spread" can be blocked across the country too.
Even though this law is rarely applied, its consequences are devastating. As a result of this law:
- LGBT+ teenagers do not receive any help from school psychologists and social workers: the professionals are afraid of being accused of "propaganda".
- Many LGBT+ families live in constant fear that their children could be taken away.
- The number of threats, attacks, and murders of LGBT+ people in Russia is growing, and the police refuse to properly investigate them.
- People who have beaten and killed homosexual, bisexual and transgender people often justify their actions by saying that "homosexuality" is forbidden in Russia.
- Any public mention of homosexual, bisexual or transgender identities can lead to information resources blockage or fines.
- The information portal gay.ru was blocked in Russia despite the 18+ mark.
- Larisa Zhuravleva, director of the "Spirit of Fire" film festival, was fined 50,000 RUB for screening the film "Outlaw" at the festival.
- LGBT activist Sergei from Khabarovsk was fined for posting about monitoring discrimination against LGBT+
- Anastasia Panchenko was fined for publishing a photo of her kissing a girl.
- А group of teenagers taking pictures with a rainbow flag was detained in Saint-Petersburg by the police.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has repeatedly stated that this law violates Article 10 ("Freedom of Expression") and 14 ("Prohibition of Discrimination") of the European Convention on Human Rights. Thus, the ECHR recognized that the law is discriminatory and violates the right to freedom of expression. Similar opinions have been repeatedly expressed by many other international organizations, including the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (OHCHR).
Help fight back and to put an end to the anti-LGBT+ "propaganda law" in Russia once and for all.