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Russian high court rules against LGBT activist, upholds ‘gay propaganda’ law

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

MOSCOW — Russia’s highest court has ruled that a controversial law banning “gay propaganda” is not in breach of that nation’s Constitution.

Nikolai Alexeyev

Nikolai Alexeyev

The Constitutional Court dismissed a complaint from Nikolai Alexeyev, a leading LGBT rights activist, that the St. Petersburg, Russia, city council had acted unconstitutionally by passing legislation to ban the promotion of “non traditional sexual relationships” to minors.

St. Petersburg’s law took effect March 2012 — a national law patterned after the St. Petersburg law was signed by Russian president Vladimir Putin in June 2013.

The local ordinance calls for fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($150) for individuals and up to 500,000 rubles ($15,000) for organizations.

The Constitutional Court’s ruling followed a fine imposed on Alexeyev by a city court in St. Petersburg in May 2012 for holding up a poster of a quote by a famous Soviet-era actress Faina Ranevskaya; it read: “Homosexuality is not a perversion, unlike grass hockey or ice ballet.”

Alexeyev had asked the court to rule that the law was based on prejudice and permitted discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation.

But the justices ruled that Russia’s constitution obliged the State to protect motherhood, childhood and family.

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In its ruling, the court determined lawmakers were mandated to “take measures to protect children from information, propaganda and campaigns that can harm their health and moral and spiritual development.”

Legislation to ban the promotion of “non traditional sexual relationships” fell within the scope of the constitutional duty of lawmakers, the court said.

It also dismissed Alexeyev’s complaint that the law was discriminatory, saying the ban applied equally to LGBT people and heterosexual people and “did not discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation.”

The high court decision was made on October 24, but only released publicly Tuesday.

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67 more reader comments:

  1. Eee

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:08am
  2. Россия велика, и все, но я даже не могу идти по улице и не беспокоила власти I don’t really like it here…want to live in US

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:10am
  3. You need to gt out of there as soon as possible.

    Replied on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:50am
  4. This is why I am glad to live in AMERICA! Right to choose! Just sucks the winter Olympic’s are in Russia this year!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:12am
  5. All LGBTQ Russians should now qualify for amnesty in the US!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:13am
  6. Boycott sochi…its the only way

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:14am
  7. The world moves forward but Russia moves backwards to the Middle Ages. I fear for the LGBT people of that part of the world.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:17am
  8. This has bullshit written all over it.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:18am
  9. Hello and welcome to cave man days! Get out of Russia before you get hurt or killed!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:20am
  10. When are they gonna start condemning the LGBT ppl their to “mental hospitals” to change their “immoral” behavior or worse, condem them to concentration camps ? These ppl are sick and need to br stopped before they start rounding up all the LGBTs and flat out murder them just as the “nazis” did to the poor Jewish ppl !!! I’m beyond disgusted.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:22am
  11. Shame!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:24am
  12. Id rather b gay than a drug addict…

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:26am
  13. AMEN

    Replied on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:14am
  14. To bad they choose to be on the dark side of history.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:27am
  15. Well, there goes my plans to vacation in Russia.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:32am
  16. Boo!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:35am
  17. sad country.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:36am
  18. High court…… Yeah, the court was high on crack. Couldn’t judge their way out of a wet paper bag. And they obviously are not humanists, or believers in equality.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:39am
  19. And brave people

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:39am
  20. Boo!!! Bad move, Russia. Do you want to be on the wrong side of history again???

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:42am
  21. Fuck Russia.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:50am
  22. Bull fucking shit. It DOES breach their Constitution and they fucking know it. Stupid assholes.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 4:08am
  23. It’s my home…my mother is here, I can’t just leave her

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 4:08am
  24. BRAVO for your bravery Ashukil ....LOVE AND COURAGE AS YOUR MARCH FORWARD IN HISTORY FOR JUSTICE IN YOU MOTHER COUNTRY

    Replied on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:13am
  25. Boycott the Olympics!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 4:18am
  26. so sad :-( BOYCOTT the winter OLYMPICS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 4:23am
  27. I see boycott coming

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 4:28am
  28. Well, as we all know the whole of Russia is Corrupt. Yes, even there so called High Court is in PUTIN’S Pocket.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 4:34am
  29. In Russia, there is no such thing as fairness, and justice. It’s whatever the DUMA and PUTIN says. No court can over turn Putin’s law.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 4:35am
  30. The high courts in Russia are not going to go against Russian President or any of his laws.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 4:59am
  31. I agree with russia, this type of propaganda has no place for minors

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 5:21am
  32. what do you expect they are afraid of pootin

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 5:25am
  33. It’s totally constitutional that the government is encouraging its citizen to kidnap people, beat them, pour piss on them, and humiliate them.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 5:31am
  34. I didnt know if the lgbt can be taken seriously… Its become a childish organization, im not sure if its just natural stupidity or if its some form of angry ignorance…

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 5:44am
  35. Alot of the posts here are racist, is that not flawed logic. This kind of attitude is detrimental to equality… and I believe the lgbt is for equality, thats why I support lgbt

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 5:57am
  36. Russia sucks … But we already knew that ….

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 6:03am
  37. Lets hear again from the IOC about how well LGBT visitors to Sochi will be treated. Hmm. And then could we please look at how Russia’s own citizens will be treated – behind closed doors and away from the sports action. All the visitors will leave & who will have to pay for 14 days of enforced public tolerance? Guess.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 6:27am
  38. Russian Asshole Bigots!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 6:38am
  39. It is very easy to sit here in comfort and suggest the LGBTQ community JUST GET OUT AS A SOLUTION TO OPPRESSION …has it occurred to anyone EXCEPT A FEW that these brave activists prefer to live in their own culture INCLUDING RUSSIA and prefer not to seek political asylum in the US (like the US is this great country of civil rights for the LGBTQ community)…JUST LIKE ANYONE LIVING IN ANY CULTURE AROUND THE WORLD MOST PREFER TO STAY IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY… INCLUDING AMERICANS …BRAVO TO YOUR COURAGE Mr Alexeyev…JUST LIKE Mandella fought and was jailed in South Africa as he stood against Racism…you stand your ground the for the LGBTQ community in Russia…Just like Dan Choi in America stood for justice against the American military…you have stood your ground for justice in Russia….HISTORY AND I APPLAUD YOU….YOU WILL PREVAIL EVENTUALLY FOR YOUR BRAVERY…GOD GIVE YOU AND OUR BROTHER AND SISTSERS OF THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY IN RUSSIA STRENGTH AND LOVE ALWAYS.Here in America the LGBTQ community can support these brave souls by refusing all Russian alcohol …sign petitions….and march here against all Russian delegations, embassies, and officials seeking US support….we can crash servers around the world and Russia with our petitions of justice…ALL CAN DO SOMETHING.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 6:52am
  40. Sad day for Russia now the UN & Eu needs to do something before more blood is shed before & after the sochi olympics

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:18am
  41. This is a Neo NAZI law the time for revolution is the only solution LBGT have you must organize take up arms and overthrow that regime just like the people of SYRiA !

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:18am
  42. Here in the USA we are not in any better situation either the bigots in our government continue to fight the LBGT community every time we demand equality and justice we too need to organize and demand full equality in America with protest and armed resistance too!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:23am
  43. Russia and Eastern Europe are become frightening places.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:40am
  44. It’s Dark age all over again. Will they ever learn? What stupid hideous barbarians. What about millions of intersex babies (1 out of 2000 babies are intersex, and recently legalized in Germany, India, and many other countries.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 8:42am
  45. Just don’t spend money or go there

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10:06am
  46. Assholes!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10:10am
  47. Yeah and like anywhere else in the world those same people are in the closet having same sex relationships. Fuck the world, I don’t give a damn what people think of me. Pay my way in life then you MIGHT get a little say in the way I live my life.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10:47am
  48. Russia is a totally fucked-up psyche

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10:48am
  49. Russia is was and will always be a backwards confused Nation of bigots, Racists, and fools.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10:52am
  50. Because the Russian “high court” is just as corrupt as everything else in that place.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 11:00am
  51. Appalling. Join the 21st century

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 12:15pm
  52. Bunch of ignorant bigots

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 1:51pm
  53. sad

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 2:04pm
  54. Fuj..”big”rusia..

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 2:12pm
  55. Don’t just boycott Sochi. Let all the companies that do business with Russia know it’s not alright to support their hateful ways. Spread the word that people will stop using or buying products from these companies if they don’t apply pressure to Russia’s economy.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 2:54pm
  56. they have a messed up constitution :(

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:26pm
  57. It will cost them in the long run! Bigotry always does.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 3:48pm
  58. SHAM constitution = S-H-A-M court!!!!! We are looking at the next Holocaust!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 6:37pm
  59. Come get all the trash u dumped on the U.S. to support!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:24pm
  60. The high court is Putin’s puppet.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 11:09pm
  61. Russia is my home and it’s where I feel at home…going to the US would be hard for me, the schooling would be my downfall :/

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 12:10am
  62. Я ничего об США не знаю вообще, я знаю, их экономика отстой, вот и все

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 12:12am
  63. This is so ridiculous!

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 12:21am
  64. boooo, hisssss

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 12:29am
  65. SCUMS

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 3:17am
  66. Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 7:52am
  67. I find it amazing that Russians (communists?) and extremist Christians share the same ideologies. And a so – called Christian group has been meeting with the Russians to work together to promote hate and bigotry, and that group is a “tax free” organization.

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 2:23pm