The EU rejects homosexual propaganda bans

Image: The EU rejects homosexual propaganda bans

On June 18th 2013, the European Commission for Democracy through Law has said that laws banning “propaganda of homosexuality” are not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and international human rights standards. These laws adopted by Russia, Ukraine and Moldova were not just violations of the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and non-discrimination, but were incompatible with the underlying values of the ECHR as a whole. In this way, they should be repealed because by prohibiting “propaganda of homosexuality”, as opposed to “propaganda of heterosexuality”, without any reasonable or objective criteria to justify the difference, they establish discrimination. In fact, the rejection of these laws is not only limited to sexually explicit content. It is also concerned about “legitimate expressions of sexual orientation”. The Venice Commission has so stressed that “homosexuality as a variation of sexual orientation, is protected under the ECHR and as such, cannot be deemed contrary to morals by public authorities”. If Russia, Ukraine and Moldova have claimed that the aim of their measures was the promotion of traditional values and attitudes towards family and sexuality, the Commission reminds that it seems more to be the curtailment of non-traditional ones. However, this “call” is only an opinion and should not change the situation.

download CoE Venice Commission 2013