Russian officials have announced their intention to seek a ban on the "international LGBT public movement" in Russia. This move follows a crackdown on liberal-leaning groups that has been escalating since Russia's deployment of troops to Ukraine. The Russian justice ministry has filed an administrative legal claim with the Supreme Court to recognize the movement as extremist and ban its activity in the country. However, it is unclear whether this ban would apply to specific groups or organizations, or if it would be more broadly applied to the LGBTQ community as a whole.
This proposed ban is part of a longer-standing crackdown on LGBTQ individuals in Russia, which has intensified since the offensive in Ukraine began last year. The Russian government has frequently used the label of extremism to target rights organizations and opposition groups, subjecting their members to criminal prosecution. The justice ministry accuses the "LGBT movement operating on the territory of the Russian Federation" of various signs and manifestations of extremism, including incitement to social and religious hatred.
Activists and human rights groups have criticized the announcement, arguing that it dehumanizes the LGBTQ community and seeks to erase them from public life. They see it as a move by the repressive regime to persecute the most vulnerable members of society. Despite this crackdown, LGBTQ activists vow to continue their fight for equality and rights.
Russia has a history of hostility towards LGBTQ individuals and organizations. In 2013, the country passed a ban on so-called "gay propaganda," which has since been expanded to include various forms of LGBTQ expression. Same-sex marriage was effectively outlawed in 2020 through a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The Rainbow Europe organization ranked Russia third from bottom among 49 European countries in terms of tolerance towards LGBTQ people.
The proposed ban on the international LGBT public movement in Russia is part of a broader pattern of repression targeting liberal-leaning groups and individuals. While the Russian government claims concern over extremism, critics argue that this is another attempt to marginalize and discriminate against the LGBTQ community. The outcome of the court hearing scheduled for November 30 will shed more light on the potential implications of this ban.