18 April 2014
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PRESS RELEASES

09.08.2013

Is Russia Really Anti-LGBT?

There has been a lot of talk recently on alleged LGBT rights abuse in Russia, especially in the context of the forthcoming Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. That is why it is important to make things clear. Below is a list of FAQ on LGBT issues in Russia:

1. Is LGBT discrimination prohibited in Russia?

Yes, it is. The Constitution of the Russian Federation prohibits any form of discrimination in compliance with obligations within UN and European Convention on Human Rights.

2. How are LGBT rights protected in Russia?

LGBT rights of Russian citizens and foreigners are protected by the Constitution and laws of the Russian Federation. Part 2 of Article 19 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees personal rights and freedoms regardless of gender, nationality, religion, etc., and other circumstances, which includes sexual orientation.

3. Are there any LGBT sports clubs and organizations in Russia?

There are various LGBT public organizations in Russia, including the Russian LGBT Sport Federation that comprises more than 30 sports clubs. The Russian team was second largest and second best at the LGBT EuroGames in Budapest in 2012.

4. What does the Russian legislation actually prohibit?

The Russian legislation prohibits only LGBT propaganda among children. That does not contradict the Constitution. In 2010, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation made a ruling that family, maternity and childhood in their traditional meaning are basic values that determine the existence and development of multinational Russia.

5. What are the Russian international and national obligations on securing the rights of children?

As a member of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Russia strictly follows the principle of most effective protection of children’s interests. The Russian legislation obliges the governmental institutions to protect children from information harmful to their health, moral and spiritual development.

6. How does the Russian Law on LGBT work?

The Russian legislation in this sphere is implemented under strict control of Russian courts on the basis of the constitutional principle of non-discrimination. It foresees only administrative (not criminal) responsibility. It applies on the decision of court and only in cases of its deliberate violation. The Russian legislation does not prevent LGBT activists from defending their rights by legal means.

7. So how will Sochi treat its guests?

Russia will welcome all sportsmen and guests of Sochi Olympics regardless of their sexual orientation. At the same time, we hope that our foreign guests will respect the laws of the host-country according to the basic principle of the Olympic movement (the Russian legislation prohibits only LGBT propaganda among children).

The information of a “wide-scale violence campaign” against LGBT activists after the adoption of the mentioned law is simply not true.


President Vladimir Putin on the issue pertaining to LGBT-community (talking to world media on 17 January 2014)

In Russia, as opposed to one third of the world’s countries, there is no criminal liability for homosexuality. 70 countries of the world have criminal liability for homosexuality, and seven countries out of these 70 enforce death penalty for homosexuality.

The Soviet Union had criminal liability for homosexuality; today’s Russia doesn’t have such criminal liability. In our country, all people are absolutely equal regardless of their religion, sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Everybody is equal. We have just recently passed a law prohibiting propaganda, and not of homosexuality, but of homosexuality and child abuse, child sexual abuse. But this has nothing to do with persecuting individuals for their sexual orientation. And there is a world of difference between these things. So there is no danger for people of such non-traditional sexual orientation who are planning to come to the Games as guests or participants…

According to the law, the church is separated from the state and has the right to have its own point of view. Almost all traditional world religions are in full solidarity on this topic…

Take the time to read the law thoroughly, and pay your attention to its name. The law’s name is "Ban on propaganda of paedophilia and homosexuality". The law banning paedophilia, propaganda of paedophilia and homosexuality. There are countries, including European, where public discussions – I have just talked about this at the meeting with volunteers – for instance, on the possibility to legalise paedophilia currently take place. Public discussions in parliaments. They may do whatever they want, but peoples of the Russian Federation, the Russian people have their own cultural code, own tradition. It's not our business and we do not poke our nose into their affairs, and we ask for the same respect for our traditions and for our culture.

The society should look after its children at least to be able to reproduce and not only thanks to migrants, but on its own base…

The law we adopted does not hurt anybody. Moreover, people of non-traditional sexual orientation can not feel like inferior people here, because there is no professional, career or social discrimination against them, by the way…

Homosexuality is a criminal offence in 70 countries, including the USA. It is still a criminal offence in some states of the United States, for instance in Texas…

People have different sexual orientation. We would welcome all athletes and all guests at the Olympics…

Protest actions and propaganda are after all two slightly different things. They are close enough but if we look at this from the legal point of view, a protest against a law is not propaganda of homosexuality itself or child sexual abuse. That is first point.

Second point. I would like to ask our colleagues – my colleagues and friends – before they try to criticise us, to solve the problem in their own home first. But I have already said that it is well known. In some US states, homosexuality is criminally punishable. And how can they criticise us for a far gentler and liberal approach to these issues compared to the one they have at home?

Full text - http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/6545




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