Moscow, Nov 30 (EFE).- Russia’s top court on Thursday banned the international LGBT movement in the country, calling it an “extremist organization.”
State-run Tass news agency said the judge announced the decision “to sustain the claim by the justice ministry to recognize the LGBT movement as extremist.”
According to Interfax news agency the top court banned all structural divisions of the movement in Russia with an immediate effect.
The ruling prohibits propaganda, advertising, generating interest, and encouraging joining the LGBT movement.
LGBT+ activists were not part of the closed door hearing attended by representatives of the ministry.
The ruling, however, “does not apply to the personal life of citizens” and can be challenged at an appeals court within a month, said Interfax.
According to the ministry, “various extremism-related signs” including the “incitement of social and religious discord” were identified in the movement’s activities, said the TASS news agency.
On Wednesday, the rights defenders said there was no entity in Russia called the “international LGBT movement,” arguing that the term was merely a label used by the ministry in its “anti-legal” suit, Latvia-based digital newspaper Meduza reported.
They accused the Russian government of wanting to “control people’s beliefs” and promote “traditional” family values, which they argue are incompatible with the activities of the LGBT movement.
The defenders warned that the organizers of the movement could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and that any of its members could be persecuted.
In 2022, the Russian parliament approved a law banning LGBT propaganda, pedophilia, and gender reassignment.
Additionally, in June it passed another legislation, banning gender reassignment surgeries, with those who had changed their sex no longer allowed to adopt children or be their guardians.
The Russian constitutional reform introduced in 2020 establishes marriage as exclusively a union between a man and a woman.
Vladimir Putin has stated that there will be no gay marriage in Russia as long as he is president.
The United Nations has accused the Kremlin of enacting laws that promote homophobia.
LBGT+ activists criticized the country’s judiciary for not pursuing cases of violence and discrimination against sexual minorities even after homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993. EFE