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Russia Makes Its First Convictions After Naming the LGBTQ+ "Movement" an Extremist and Terrorist Organization

News & Opinion

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In November of last year, the Russian Supreme Court banned the "LGBTQ+ movement", adding it to a list of extremist and terrorist organizations. The court ruled that any LGBTQ+ activists should be designated as extremists and will be prosecuted under a court of law, with anyone who finances or participates in any of these organizations facing possibly up to 12 years in prison

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The move is said to be following a trend by the Russian government to restrict expressions of sexual orientations and gender identities that may seem "out of the norm", according to President Vladimir Putin. During a speech he made in 2022 in addressing the West he stated that they were welcome to adopt "rather strange, in my view, new-fangled trends like dozens of genders, and gay parades".

Similarly, in the summer of last year, the Russian court outlawed legal or medical changes of gender, thus alienating persons who identify as transgender and there has been a law banning the promotion of "nontraditional" sexual relations in place for over a decade.

Last month, Russia administered its first convictions in accordance with the law that was passed. In the southern region of Volgograd a man was found guilty of "displaying the symbols of an extremist organization" after posting a picture of a Pride flag online. The man who was found guilty, Artyom P., was court ordered to pay a fine of 1,000 rubles as a part of his punishment.

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Additionally, a woman who was wearing earrings with a rainbow image on them was sentenced to five days administrative detention. She was reportedly approached in a cafe when a man demanded that she remove the earrings. The man filmed the encounter and posted it online and the woman was called to the police station shortly after.

While there has been research to support a worldwide trend towards an increase in public support for same-sex marriages throughout the past decade, with more progress there comes more resistance.

“We continue to see that with every social justice movement the more advances you make, the stronger the resistance gets,” says Tuisina Ymania Brown, co-secretary general of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).


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