Russia's Constitutional Court upholds "homosexual propaganda" ban
ST.PETERSBURG, September 25 (RAPSI) - Russia's Constitutional Court has ruled that a controversial law banning "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" among minors is not in breach of the Constitution, reads the statement of the court released on Thursday.
The complaint was filed by 'gay activists' Nikolai Alexeev, Yaroslav Yevtushenko and Dmirty Isakov. They were found in violation of the contested law and fined 4,000 rubles ($100) each. The applicants stated that the contested law was discriminatory and violated their right to free spech.
“The contested provisions [of the Russian legislation] are not intended to ban homosexuality as is, and cannot be viewed as allowing to curb the rights of citizens based on their sexual orientation. They also do not imply a ban on any information concerning unorthodox sexual relations," according to the statement.
The Constitutional Court says that public actions aimed at active promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships among minors can be viewed as violating the law.
The Constitutional Court further says that the legislators were to preserve balance between personal "integrity" of a citizen and the public welfare, taking into account traditional view of marriage, family and maternity in the confines of multi-confessional Russian society
The law on “gay propaganda,” levies fines for promoting homosexuality from 800,000 rubles ($24,000) to 1 million rubles ($30,500) for legal entities, from 4,000 rubles ($120) to 5,000 rubles ($150) for individuals and from 40,000 rubles ($1,220) to 50,000 rubles ($1,530) for officials. Legal entities may also be suspended for 90 days for disseminating gay propaganda among children.
The law was sharply criticized by the LGBT community and rights activists in Russia and abroad. The law was first enacted in the city of St. Petersburg, and later it developed into a federal law, which was passed by the State Duma on June 30, 2013.