Russia remains a hotbed of anti-gay activism, even though it is not one of the 76 countries with anti-homosexuality laws.
- The Russian delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Council last year proposed a resolution honoring “traditional values” as an underpinning for human rights, which would have limited gay rights that aren’t already supported by local traditions. Last month, the Russian resolution was turned on its head after being studied by a Chinese human rights expert. The latest document “puts human rights squarely above and against traditional values.”
- Anti-gay activists have sued Madonna, claiming that her recent concert in St. Petersburg violated that city’s law against “gay propaganda” in the presence of minors.
- Moscow’s top court last month upheld a city ruling that bans gay pride marches for the next 100 years.
Russia’s stance on gay-rights issues will be examined this month by the top European human rights guardian, the Council of Europe.
The council is scheduled to consider a European Court ruling that Russia discriminated against gay-rights activist Nikolay Alexeyev because of his sexual orientation. He has been seeking to hold a pride parade while also opposing the St. Petersburg “gay propaganda” law.
Russian news agencies said the suit against Madonna seeks nearly $10.5 million in damages, in part because pink armbands in support of gays and lesbians were distributed to young fans in the audience.
Meanwhile, at the Human Rights Council, Russia is reportedly preparing a renewed attempt to limit internationally recognized human rights to those that don’t clash with traditional values.
The pro-LGBT-rights group ARC International cites an advisory report that challenges the Russian position:
“Those who benefit most from the status quo are more likely to appeal to tradition to maintain power and privilege, and also to speak on behalf of tradition, while ‘those most marginalized and disenfranchised have the most to lose from a traditional values approach to human rights’ .”
- Madonna sued over gay rights stance by Russian campaigners (guardian.co.uk)
- Moscow bans gay pride for century (bbc.co.uk)
- Madonna vs. ‘gay propaganda’ law (76crimes.com)
- First fine imposed under Russian ‘gay propaganda’ law (76crimes.com)
- Efforts to ban ‘gay propaganda’ spread in Europe (76crimes.com)