The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation (IGLYO) is urging the Russian Parliament to reject the proposed ‘homosexual propaganda’ law.
The proposed legislation was due to enter its first reading in the state Duma, on Wednesday the 19th of December. It has now been postponed until Tuesday the 22nd of January 2013.
This legislation proposes fines for individuals of up to 5,000 rubles (125€), and organizations would face fines of up to 500,000 rubles (12,500€) for spreading so called ‘homosexual propaganda’ to anyone under the age of 18.
IGLYO believes this bill has the potential to ban LGBTQ events or public discussion about LGBTQ people or issues and seriously threaten the right to free speech of LGBTQ people and activists.
We believe this proposed legislation could make it harder for LGBTQ youth and students to access fair and accurate information around issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. IGLYO believes that censorship could further the isolation of LGBTQ young people and have an impact on their well-being and health.
Last week the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated that ‘not every moral issue, behavioural habit or communication issue between people should be regulated’. We support this statement and hopes that the Prime Minister will work to fight this proposed law, and that the ruling United Russia Party will veto this proposed law.
IGLYO would like to remind the State Duma that Russia is a signatory of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. This proposed law would infringe upon the fundamental right to free speech, the rights of LGBTQ people in Russia, and Russia’s obligations under international law and the covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
We call on all activists to support Russian LGBTQ people and organisations in fighting this proposed law, and petition Russian embassies in their own country.
IGLYO calls on all national parliaments that are considering similar laws to reject them and to protect the civil, political and human rights of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
For more information please contact Patrick Dempsey, Communications Officer of IGLYO: firstname.lastname@example.org