The Russian Duma has passed a first reading of a law making it a crime to “spread propaganda promoting homosexuality among minors”.
Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning issued the following statement on the subject today (25 January):
This law would limit the ability of sexual minorities to advocate for their own rights. Under the guise of protecting minors, it would erode freedom of expression.
This, unfortunately, fits into the pattern we have seen in recent months: civil rights and the freedom to take political action are being ever more sharply curtailed.
I call upon the Russian Duma to protect the rights of Russian citizens and to take a clear and decisive stand against discrimination against minorities. The members of the Duma should stand up to homophobia, not foment it.
The proposed law furthermore contradicts the European Convention on Human Rights. The Duma should stop this law.