IGLYO’S appeal to governor of St Petersburg Mr Georgiy Poltavchenko.
Saint Petersburg Governor, Mr Georgiy Poltavchenko, has 10 days to sign the bill into effect, or send it back for revision. In 2006, similar laws were implemented in Ryazan, and in 2011 in the Arkhangelsk and Kostroma regions.At this tough moment for LGBTQ people in Russia, the Executive Board and Staff of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Youth and Student Organization (IGLYO) stands by LGBTQ people and addresses this appeal to Governor of St. Petersburg Mr Georgiy Poltavchenko.
On February 29, 2012 the St. Petersburg City Parliament adopted and signed the law on the prohibition of the so-called propaganda of ‘sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism, and pedophilia to minors’. The legislation will amend the Law of Saint Petersburg ‘On administrative offences in St Petersburg’ and introduces an administrative responsibility relating to the dissemination of information about the LGBT community and its rights.
Dear Mr. Poltavchenko,
It is with deep concern that we have learned about the decision of the St. Petersburg City Parliament to adopt the law on the prohibition of the so-called propaganda on “sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism and pedophilia to minors”. As a voice of LGBTQ youth and students in the pan-European region and beyond its borders, IGLYO has always supported diversity, equality and acceptance of young people irrespective of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. Over the past 27 years, IGLYO has defended the rights and interests of LGBTQ youth, so that they are able to participate in the life of their societies without barriers, enjoying respect, celebration and positive recognition.
In the past, IGLYO had a chance to meet representatives of Russia-based LGBTQ organizations, initiative groups and young activists on different occasions both in St. Petersburg and other cities. Having witnessed social exclusion, oppression, stigma and discrimination, Russian LGBTQ activists have fought hard for positive recognition and equal rights in their own country. Being independent citizens of an independent and democratic state, LGBTQ people should enjoy the same rights and opportunities, assigned by the Russian Federation Law and Constitution.
Students, workers, artists, taxpayers, residents and citizens of a big country, LGBTQ people, irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity, live, work, and participate in the social, economic, political and cultural life in the Russian Federation. However, if the new law enters into force, people who have “non-traditional” sexual orientation and/or gender identities will turn into legally stigmatized individuals any time they try to speak about their human rights and freedoms. We believe that this law could kill any effort to build up a healthy, democratic society that respects diversity, pluralism and human rights. Moreover, it diminishes human dignity of people who, because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, will have to carry unfairly the label of “pedophiles”, even if they are just human beings who, as anyone else, could contribute to the well-being of their society by being good workers, taxpayers, parents and just peaceful citizens of their country.
On behalf of our members and friends, we urge you to consider the aftermath of the law which we believe will have the following effects
- Complete isolation of LGBTQ people from society
- Social, economic and political marginalization of LGBTQ communities
- Deprivation of the constitutional rights to all Russian people
Once again, we urge you to send the law back to the lawmakers for revision, thus giving LGBTQ people in your country a chance to live without the fear of being discriminated and stigmatized.
We hope you will make favorable decision for your fellow citizens, irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The IGLYO Board and Staff