A law that makes it a crime to “spread propaganda promoting male and female homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors” has just passed its second reading in the city parliament of St. Petersburg.
Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, responded with the following statement:
“The city legislature’s bill contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights. Russia has pledged to uphold this Convention and now has to live up to this commitment.
It is hypocritical to cite the protection of minors as the justification for the planned law, when it will in fact discriminate against people in general and marginalize them.
I call on the city parliament of St. Petersburg to drop the bill and to stand up to the homophobic attitudes sometimes found in Russian society. All people have a right to live in dignity.
I further call on the Russian Government to live up to its international law obligations. It has to make it plain to the city parliament that the planned law is against international law and has no place in a modern society.”
The German Consul-General in St. Petersburg has, together with EU colleagues, repeatedly told the Russians of his concerns about the bill.
The bill passed its second reading on 8 February 2012. The third and final reading is likely to follow next week.