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Stop homophobic legislation in the Russian Federation

Strasbourg, 06.09.2013 – Håkon Haugli (Norway, SOC), General rapporteur on the rights of LGBT people of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), today made the following statement:

“A wave of homophobic propaganda is hitting the Russian Federation, forming the basis of new laws and law proposals. The most recent manifestation of this trend is the draft bill that would deny LGBT parents custody over their own children.

After the blatant violations of freedom of expression and assembly represented by the legislation on so-called homosexual propaganda, the right to private and family life is now under threat. This pattern of legalising discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity runs against the international obligations of the Russian Federation and risks legitimising and encouraging homophobic and transphobic attitudes and violence.

I reiterate the call made by the Assembly on political leaders and legislators to refrain from promoting prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people. However popular these arguments may prove with a share of their voters, they are in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. I urge the Russian legislators to reject the draft bill on children custody and to repeal the legislation banning so-called homosexual propaganda. It is time to reaffirm the principle that human rights are for all, without discrimination.”