Putin has another enemy. These are people with the rainbow flag. The Russian Supreme Court has declared LGBT movements extremist. There are presidential elections in Russia in March. Society must be afraid to support a dictator.
– The court declared the “international LGBT social movement” and all units subordinate to it as extremist and banned their activities on the territory of the Russian Federation. The court’s decision is subject to immediate execution, said Oleg Nefiyodov, judge of the Russian Supreme Court. This decision can be appealed within one month, but I don’t think anyone believes that any institution in Russia will want to reverse it. – Putin is currently conducting an election campaign. He will spread homophobia and emphasize conservative values - explains Ada Blakewell, a transgender activist.
After a 4-hour closed-door hearing, the Russian Supreme Court stated that the LGBT movement is an extremist organization and should be banned. This was requested by the Ministry of Justice. However, it was not specified who would be a member of this movement and how it is organized. However, one thing is certain – these are greater repressions. – It is unclear what defines the international LGBT movement. So these provisions leave the law open to abuse, says Ravina Shadasani, spokeswoman for the UN human rights commissioner.
This is not the first attempt to infest the queer community in Russia, but it is certainly the most far-reaching. From now on, the police or OMON will be able to arrest, in practice, anyone they want. – Arrests of activists will most likely become mass and easier to justify. All it takes is for someone to wear something rainbow-colored on the street. From now on, it is a symbol of the extremist movement, notes Elle Solomina, a transgender activist.
Most activists have already left anyway. Those who stayed have been harassed for years. – A little over half a year ago, I escaped from a conversion camp. I was taken there by force. They told me that I was not a transgender woman. They tried to “cure” me, as they called it. Many queer activists have already left Russia, and I am apparently one of the last ones left. What’s next? The only option I know is to leave too, adds Ada Blakewell.
The UN calls on the Russian authorities to immediately repeal the verdict and all regulations issued in recent years that violate the rights of LGBT people. Vladimir Putin will certainly be adamant. He runs an election campaign in which he refers to the so-called traditional values. Recently, he called on women to give birth to up to eight children – this is supposed to be a response to the demographic crisis
Country of dictatorship
Some Russians, who have been living in a de facto dictatorship for years and without access to free media, support the president’s actions. However, there are also those who still have the courage to say in front of the camera that the authorities are already going too far. – You can’t forbid people’s feelings. I do not belong to the LGBT community, but in my opinion this verdict is not justified, says Nikita, who lives in Moscow. – I would like this world to be a free place where people can love whomever they want. It would be very painful for me if it affected me directly, admits Lera, who lives in Moscow.
In March 2023, the State Duma of the Russian Federation decided to ban gender reassignment. In December 2022, Putin signed a law extending restrictions on what was defined as “LGBT promotion”. In practice, the regulations prohibit any mention of homosexuality. – The only option I see for the Russian queer community is to evacuate the country, because the situation will only worsen, warns Elle Solomina. Presidential elections in Russia are scheduled for March 2024. Thanks to the reform carried out several years ago, Vladimir Putin will once again be able to run for this office. The terms previously served no longer count, which gives the current president a chance for another two terms.
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Main photo source: Reuters