Russian authorities are no friends to the LGBTQIA+ community, and lawmakers have lodged a new administrative legal claim that would recognise the LGBTQIA+ community as extremists and ban their activity within the country.
The latest in a campaign against queerness
The Russian government under the dictatorship of Vladimir Putin has oppressed LGBTQIA+ rights, progress and freedom of expression. The Anti-Propaganda Law makes the discussion of the lives of LGBTQIA+ people illegal making queer content in film and media censored with strict fines and penalties imposed.
Earlier this year, a popular couple from social media were arrested for violating Russia’s laws against dissemination of pro-LGBTQIA+ content.
This latest development would see a vague definition applied to LGBTQIA+ groups and individuals casting them as “extremists” who are promoting the “West’s degrading influence”. As part of the State Duma’s efforts to stem Western influence, the proposed new law seeks to criminalise the existence of LGBTQIA+ people.
If this administrative claim were to be supported and codified by the Supreme Court it could have devastating effects on queer populations. The effect of labelling the LGBTQIA+ movement as “extremist” would result in the closure of institutions, sanctuaries and groups designed to offer relief and support to an already marginalised people. Furthermore, the fines and penalties already in place for promotion of “LGBTQIA+ propaganda” would evolve to mean strict charges and hard jail time.
The first court hearing is scheduled for November 30 where the Ministry of Justice will argue their claim.