PACE rapporteur calls on Russian Duma not to support law banning ‘gay propaganda’

Strasbourg, 01.02.2013 - Andreas Gross (Switzerland, SOC), co-rapporteur on Russia for the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has expressed concern at the approval by the Russian Duma, at first reading, of a draft federal law on the “propaganda of homosexuality to minors” which, if finally adopted, is likely to increase discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT) by limiting their freedom of expression, association and assembly.

“The members of the Duma should remember that the European Court of Human Rights, in its 2010 judgment Alekseyev v. Russia, clearly stated that the rights safeguarded by the European Convention should be effectively enjoyed by all Russian citizens, without any discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation,” said Mr Gross, who is also former PACE rapporteur on the LGBT rights.

“This law would contribute to discrimination against hundreds of thousands of Russians. By adopting it, the Duma would demonstrate its hostility to social progress – joining those who, in the past, have argued for slavery or opposed women’s right to vote,” he added.

Mr Gross called on the members of the Duma not to support the draft law in the on-going legislative procedure.