LGBT activists petition Europe to boot out Russia

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A new online petition has already received over 1,000 signatures online in calling on the European Council to ban Russia over its treatment and statements on LGBT issues. The organizers of the online petition have said they hope to garner at least 3,000 signatures in an effort to put pressure on the Council.

“A country that openly discriminates between the ‘first’ and ‘second-rank’ citizens and has a record of violating international laws can’t be a member of the European Council,” the author of the “Stop LGBT discrimination in Russia” petition wrote online in calling on other LGBT activists and allies to support the cause.

After earning its projected signature goal, the petition will be forwarded to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and hopes that it will spur change and ultimately bar Russia from participating in future talks until it mends its ways toward the LGBT community.

It called on Europe to stand firm against Russia over gay hate laws in the country and to ban it from member status until it changes its laws toward the gay community.

Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vowed that the ban on “gay propaganda” didn’t breach international norms and said the country would continue to uphold its “values.”

The Russian foreign minister also said that Moscow had never clamped down on the rights of LGBT community.

Russia currently has no laws protecting against discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. However, the local legislature of Ryazan region prohibited “propaganda of homosexuality among minors” and established fines for that administrative offense. A similar law was passed in Arkhangelsk region in September 2011.

LGBT activists have continued to pressure the country into changing its laws towards LGBT rights and ensuring discrimination on gender identity does not continue.

429Magazine

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