Russia Rejects G8 Endorsement of LGBT Rights
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosted the G8 Foreign Ministers at Blair House in Washington D.C. this week and one of the products of the meeting was a statement by the group affirming LGBT rights. It was endrosed by all those present, except for Russia, the Wall Street Journal reports:
Following a meeting in Washington, the statement of the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting Chair said: “The ministers reaffirmed that human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all individuals, male and female, including lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals. These individuals often face death, violence, harassment and discrimination because of their sexual orientation in many countries around the world.”
The document came with a footnote saying “the Russian Federation disassociates itself from this language given the absence of any explicit definition or provision relating to such a group or such persons as separate rights holders under international human rights law.”
Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said Friday that “under the pretext of protecting the so-called sexual minorities, in effect there’s aggressive propaganda and the imposition of certain behavior and values that may insult the majority of the society.”
He added that the international law has no separate norms for the protection of people according to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Russia has been considering a federal version of the law recently passed in St. Petersburg banning gay "propaganda" which bars (and imposes fines for) gay groups, gay books and periodicals, LGBT Pride events, and other "promotion" of homosexuality. Two activists were arrested last week protesting the law.