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Today, Tuesday 16th July, at 5:00pm, a coalition of LGBT organizations, civil-society groups, political parties and public representatives will hand in a protest letter to the Russian Embassy, Orwell road, Rathgar to register our horror at the signing into law of the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” Bill (the so-called Gay 'Propaganda' law)
For further comment, please contact:
Adam Long, NLGF - National Lesbian and Gay Federation - at firstname.lastname@example.org
Max Krzyzanowski, spokesperson for LGBT Noise on 086 8387471
We the undersigned condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent passage of a law banning the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships”, which amounts to a serious assault on the basic rights and freedoms of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) citizens in Russia and on freedom of expression more generally.
The justification offered for the adoption of this draconian legislation - the protection of minors from learning about homosexuality - is extremely misguided and seems to be based on the utterly discredited notion that homosexuality is something that can be 'taught' or 'recruited' into, when in fact sexual orientation is an innate and immutable personal characteristic. The law is also a major breach of the rights of Russian LGBT youth, who will be prevented from accessing crucially important information relating to their sexuality.
Furthermore, the legislation is so loosely defined as to effectively prohibit any public campaigning for LGBT rights or the depiction of LGBT lives in a positive or even neutral light. It is an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression and has been widely condemned by, among others, The Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the UN Human Rights Committee, numerous NGO's and foreign governments.
The European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee have made clear in previous rulings that the right to freedom of expression encompasses the right to freely express one’s sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as the freedom to seek, receive and impart information on issues related to sexual orientation or gender identity. These judgments have very recently been affirmed in the 18 June 2013 opinion of the Venice Commission, which considered that bans on so-called “homosexual propaganda” are “incompatible with the ECHR and international human rights standards.”
The anti-gay legislation is in direct conflict with Russia's clear human rights obligations and has only succeeded in fueling homophobic prejudice and violence in the country. Therefore we strongly urge the Russian authorities to end the arrests and persecution of LGBT people and to instead focus on upholding their rights and that of their supporters to freedom of expression, assembly and protection from homophobic violence.
NLGF (National Lesbian and Gay Federation)
TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland)
LGBT Lawyers Association,
Anne Ferris TD - Deputy Chairperson of Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality & Defence,
Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP, Dublin
Senator Ivana Bacik - Deputy Leader of Seanad Eireann,
Senator David Norris,
Senator Averil Power Fianna Fáil Seanad spokesperson on Education & Skills