Russia High Court Upholds Constitutionality of Ban on ‘Gay Propaganda’


Russia's highest court has ruled that the oppressive anti-homosexuality law, the ban on 'gay propaganda', is constitutional, RIA Novosti reports:

The Constitutional Court dismissed a complaint from Nikolai Alexeyev, a leading gay rights campaigner, that St. Petersburg city council had acted unconstitutionally by passing legislation to ban the promotion of homosexuality among minors…

The ruling regarded a May 2012 case in which Alexeyev had been fined for holding up a poster featuring a quote: “Homosexuality is not a perversion, unlike grass hockey or ice ballet.” The quote was made by Soviet-era actress Faina Ranevskaya.

Alexeyev had asked the court to rule that the law was based on prejudice and permitted discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. But the judges concluded that the Constitution obliged the State to protect motherhood, childhood and family.

Legislators therefore had a duty to “take measures to protect children from information, propaganda and campaigns that can harm their health and moral and spiritual development”. The court ruled that the law against gay propaganda was such a measure, arguing that the exercise of civil rights and freedoms could not be permitted at the cost of other people’s rights.

The court's ruling was made in late October but not released publicly until yesterday.

The Russian wire service adds:

In a separate case, a court in the northern city of Murmansk fined Alexeyev and fellow activist Yarosvlav Yevtushenko 4,000 rubles each on Tuesday. The GayRussia campaign website said that the two men had been convicted under the gay propaganda law for holding up banners outside a children’s library that read “gay propaganda doesn’t exist. People don’t become gay, people are born gay”.