Dear colleagues and friends!
On November 11, 2011, legal committee of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly introduced a draft law about prohibition of the so-called propaganda of 'sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism, and pedophilia to minors' and introduction of administrative offense. The bill was introduced by United Russia.
By combining homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality into one law with sexual crimes against minors (pedophilia), members of the Legislative Assembly indulge in gross manipulations of public opinion. Their goal – to pass an anti-democratic law, directed at severely limiting human rights in St. Petersburg.
In the name of "public interest", members of the Legislative Assembly decided to ignore the Federal law, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention for Human Rights, Council of Europe Recommendations and other decrees by international organizations, of which Russia is a member. However, no public discussions were held.
It is also obvious that adoption of this law violates interests and rights of minors. Russia leads the world in the number of teenage suicides, and ignoring the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity can lead to tragic consequences.
This bill is absurd, both in terms of legal logic, and in terms of plain common sense. So what is the real goal? It is clear that adoption of this law would impose significant limitations on the activities of LGBT organizations. Organizers of public events cannot restrict access of minors to any open area; people under 18 can be there just by chance. Consequently, it makes any public campaigns aimed at reducing xenophobia and hate crime prevention impossible.
Adoption of this law will have detrimental effects on all of Russian LGBT movement. The only interregional LGBT organization "Russian LGBT Network", the largest grassroots LGBT organization Coming Out, LGBT film festival Side by Side, and other LGBT groups are headquartered in St. Petersburg. The LGBT movement in Russia has become so noticeable that the homophobic government can no longer ignore its existence. The state attempts to destroy LGBT organizations using legal framework and to discredit them in the minds of the people.
Recently, a similar law was passed in Arkhangelsk, today – St. Petersburg is the target, there is a real danger that tomorrow it will be adopted on the Federal level.
We call for the consolidation and mobilization of the international community in order to support Russian LGBT rights defenders through all possible and available means, including contacts with your authorities, dissemination of information to your media, letters of protest to the Russian embassies around the world. We received information about the upcoming bill just yesterday and will keep you updated about the developments, our demands, and in which ways you can support us.
Please, don’t hesitate to write to us with your ideas of support and inform of your actions, so that we ensure that our efforts remain coordinated to achieve the best impact.
In this time of real need, we hope for your help.
The program LGBT Parents consists of meetings and workshops for LGBT parents and others who are interested in the topic, where issues of reproduction, adoption and parenting are discussed. The program provides a platform for professional, psychological, and peer-to-peer support.
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