Russia’s Supreme Court has declared what it calls “the international LGBT public movement” an extremist organisation and banned its activities across the country. The ruling was prompted by a motion from the justice ministry, even though no such organisation exists as a legal entity.
Russia’s constitution was changed three years ago to make it clear that marriage means a union between a man and a woman. Same-sex unions are not recognised here.
“I think this will mean that anyone whom the state considers an LGBT activist could receive a long prison sentence for ‘participating in an extremist organisation’,” he said.
“For the organiser of such a group, the prison term will be even longer.
“And I’m looking forward to the next step: banning the six-colour rainbow flag. We don’t need this flag. It’s a symbol of the fight with the traditional family. I hope that no-one can show this flag in Russia.”
Under Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin has embraced an ideology centred around conservative thinking and “traditional family values”. The authorities portray LGBT activism as something inherently Western and hostile to Russia. Pressure on the LGBT community is presented as a means of defending the moral fabric of Russia.