European Court blasts Russia ‘gay propaganda’ law

by Editorial Staff - 2017.06.20
European Court blasts Russia ‘gay propaganda’ law
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A Russian law that bans gay “propaganda” encourages homophobia and discrimination, the European court of human rights has ruled. Three Russian gay rights activists brought the case against the 2013 federal statute, widely known as the “gay propaganda” law, after they were arrested between 2009-12 for protesting against local anti-gay laws, which became the model for the later national law. The Strasbourg-based ECHR said in a comprehensive demolition of the arguments advanced by Russian lawyers that “by adopting such laws the [Russian] authorities reinforce stigma and encourage homophobia, which is incompatible with the notions of equality, pluralism and tolerance inherent in a democratic society”. The Russian law bans giving children any information about homosexuality and is widely thought to have made life harder for gay Russians, who were already battling deep social prejudices. The European court of human rights concluded that Russia had violated the European convention on human rights on freedom of expression (article 10) and prohibition of discrimination (article 14). The state has been ordered to pay damages totalling €43,000 plus costs and interest within three months. The judgment was the majority opinion of six out of seven of the judges, only Russian judge Dmitry Dedov offered a dissenting opinion.

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