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Russia rejects G8 statement affirming rights, freedoms of LGBT individuals

Friday, April 13, 2012

WASHINGTON — Russia is openly distancing itself from language included in a joint statement released by the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting Chairman on Thursday that supported the rights and freedoms of LGBT individuals.

Following a meeting in Washington, the statement of the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting Chair read, in part:

“The ministers reaffirmed that human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all individuals, male and female, including lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals.

“These individuals often face death, violence, harassment and discrimination because of their sexual orientation in many countries around the world.”

A footnote indicated that the Russian Federation “disassociates itself from this language,” with Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov saying Friday that “under the pretext of protecting the so-called sexual minorities, in effect there’s aggressive propaganda and the imposition of certain behavior and values that may insult the majority of the society.”

Ryabkov added that the international law has no separate norms for the protection of people according to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Russian lawmakers in the National Duma (Parliament) are considering a bill that would impose fines for spreading gay “propaganda” among minors, a measure that is similar to legislation adopted in February in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city.

That law bans “homosexual propaganda” directed at minors, with fines of up to $17,000 for offenders.

Two people have already been prosecuted for displaying a sign reading “being gay is normal” near a youth club. The city’s lawmakers are pushing to have the law enacted in the whole country. Three other Russian regions have also enacted similar laws.

The Duma has four times rejected drafts banning “homosexual propaganda,” saying that homosexuality is not a criminal offense, unlike in the former Soviet Union, and therefore promoting it isn’t illegal.

However, according to a recent poll by the Levada Center, 74-percent of Russians consider homosexuality an amoral mental deviation, and less than half of those polled think that LGBTQ people should have equal rights.

The G8 (or, Group of Eight) is a forum for the governments of eight of the world’s largest economies, and includes the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Russia.

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Filed under: Europe

22 more reader comments:

  1. Russia sucks!

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:26pm
  2. Remind me to cross that country off my bucket list!

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:28pm
  3. i am liking the fact that all of those other countries affirmed the rights of others, i am not liking russian being against it

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:29pm
  4. I reject Russia

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:30pm
  5. well, this from a country that outsourced women, then outsourced children … and people are suprised?

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:30pm
  6. Figures. But then, they’re culturally 50 years behind.

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:33pm
  7. those mongrels never change

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:42pm
  8. Поэтому ёб Россия!

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:43pm
  9. - Russia is too deeply authoritarian and traditionalist by national character to actually sustain humanistic and individualistic principles for long at a time, let alone as open policy. Its microcosm is the patriarchal church-centered village, and Communism only took hold in Russia because of its sanctioned groupthink, not because of its promises of actual social equality. It’s disappointing but unsurprising that Russia tends to reject/censor what is creative and socially praiseworthy in its culture and vilify its different chldren for not pretending to fit the standard mold. This is nothing but “Official Nationalism” all over again, compounded with the paranoidly-narrowminded methods of the American “Religious Wrong.”

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:45pm
  10. Here is something that makes this appear a bit ironic: http://english.pravda.ru/society/stories/15-02-2007/87441-army_prostitute-1/

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:46pm
  11. I would imagine “gay” for free would cut into the army’s franchise.

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:47pm
  12. I have never been a fan of their government. However, we shouldn’t judge the citizens by the actions of their government…

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:54pm
  13. This has everything to do with politics and Russia trying to maintain autonomous sovereignty. Change must come from within, not without.

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:54pm
  14. you know i don’t agree with Russia on this but its no surprise they enslaved the Ukraine. but russia is a great country full of beautiful arcutecture, literature, and the history is amazing. you cant judge them all based on a few, i think as gay people we all know how that can feel. .

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 10:56pm
  15. The russian people have had a taste of freedom, there is an emerging middle class. if the gov puts too many thumbscrews on its people, they will revolt

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 11:15pm
  16. obviously russia is not ready yet as in some parts of the us. but hopefully in time.

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 11:26pm
  17. My Homeland is pathetic now :

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 11:39pm
  18. :| I feel so bad for the people who support LGBT over there, cuz honeslty those homophobes do not hold back.

    Posted on Friday, April 13, 2012 at 11:43pm
  19. Don’t give up Russia one day you will be able to be yourself and not have to hide who you are!

    Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 1:13am
  20. I grow weary of intolerant idiots. Another country added to the list of countries I will not set foot in.

    Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 1:47am
  21. Who cares what Russia thinks. I’m much more concerned about the close-minded citizens of the United States who should know better. How could you think you have the right to take away someone’s happiness. Open your closed minds and see the light. God has not given you the right to judge anyone.

    Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 8:43am
  22. Russia/USSR has long been antisemitic and homophobic — these two attributes usually go hand-in-hand.

    Posted on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 12:56pm