Main | Monday, March 12, 2012

RUSSIA: St. Petersburg's LGBT Group Responds To Signing Of New Law

St. Petersburg's LGBT group has issued a statement in response to this weekend's signing of the bill to outlaw the "promotion of homosexuality."
Authors of the law maintain that it is designed to "protect children from information that can harm their physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual development". The term "propaganda" is defined as any uncontrolled and targeted distribution of information through any accessible means to minors that can [...] form an incorrect perception of social equivalence between traditional and non-traditional conjugal relations". Authorities project "traditional values" and clerical rhetoric onto politics, and prioritize "interests of majority" over the value of human individuality. We realize that today, fascist-like rhetoric in Russia is becoming basis for legislative activity.

In fact, this law has little to do with protecting minors. Today, neither homosexual people, nor human rights defenders, nor lawyers can answer the question of how this law is going to be applied in practice, due to its vague nature and non-legal terminology. To talk about existence of homosexuality, to publicly denounce homophobic violence, to develop sense of self-awareness and dignity in homosexual people, to promote tolerance - all of these acts can fall under the "propaganda" law. This law will serve directly to further isolate and marginalize the gay community and encourage hate towards a social group.
Read more about Coming Out St. Petersburg on their website.

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