Russia banned the non‑existent “International LGBT Social Movement.” Read the court’s justification
Russia banned the non‑existent “International LGBT Social Movement.” Read the court’s justification
18 January 2024, 23:16

Фото: NurPhoto / Reuters

In a closed-door session on November 30, Russia’s Supreme Court declared the non-existent “International LGBT Social Movement” an extremist organization, banning its activities in the country. The court kept its reasoning under wraps, but a leaked document obtained by Svobodnye Novosti, a Saratov-based publication, offers a glimpse into the wild rationale behind this unprecedented move.

The Ministry of Justice’s stance that was supported by the court holds that an international LGBT movement has been active in Russia since 1984. Originating in the USA in the 1960s, initially as part of a population control policy, it also promoted non-traditional family relationships.

This supposedly US-originated Movement, described as advocating for “non-traditional family relationships,” is accused of aiming to challenge traditional family values and marriage by legalizing same-sex unions and fostering LGBT “ideology” through specific rights and freedoms.

The court concluded that while publicly advocating for LGBT rights, combatting discrimination, and preventing HIV/AIDS, the Movement effectively propagated challenging traditional family and marriage values by pushing for full moral equivalence of non-traditional relationships, including same-sex marriage, adoption, and parenting rights.

The Movement’s presence in Russia stems partly from foreign influence, the court argues. The judge concludes that its ultimate goal is to gain state recognition and dismantle traditional views on sexuality. However, the Movement itself isn’t a single entity: it’s a loose network of unregistered organizations, communities, and individuals—lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people (transsexuals, cross-dressers, drag queens/drag kings), genderqueer individuals, asexuals, pansexuals.

Despite its decentralized structure, the Movement has spread across Russia, with a presence in over 60 regions including major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, the document says. Authorities claim it has 40 core groups and identified 281 individuals involved in promoting its aims. Online communities play a growing role, with an international network spanning over 25 countries.

A vast, well-funded network spanning Russia and beyond drives the Movement that boasts a stable, geographically diverse structure of groups, communities, and community centers, each with a dedicated moderator overseeing activities and communication. Online engagement plays a crucial role, amplifying their message and reaching a wider audience. Their aim: full legal equality and social recognition for LGBT relationships and families. The participants are united by shared morals, customs, and traditions (for example, gay pride parades), lifestyle (in particular, the specifics of choosing sexual partners), interests and needs, and specific language (the use of feminine gender-specific words, such as руководительница, директорка, авторка, психологиня).

International LGBT Movement is a destructive ideological mechanism, the court concludes, that threatens the demographic situation in the country, contributes to the creation of conditions for the self-destruction of society, weakening of family ties, causes harm to the moral health of people, and imposes ideas that imply the denial of human dignity and the value of human life.

These activities grossly violate constitutionally protected rights and interests of children, a vital priority in Russia’s state policy. This includes the right to comprehensive spiritual, moral, intellectual, and physical development, personal inviolability, and protection from violence.

The heightened focus on sexual relationship issues can significantly distort the understanding of constitutional values like family, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood among minors, negatively impacting their psychological well-being and social adaptation.

From the case materials, it is evident that prevalent means of Movement propaganda among minors include incorporating LGBT symbolism into children’s items, publishing LGBT literature for minors, and organizing events near schools that propagate non-traditional relationships.

One primary objective of the Movement’s ideology is to change people’s perception of the religious aspect of LGBT relationships, leading to the reinterpretation of the Bible. Movement participants create online resources that bring together believers of various religious affiliations, undermining traditional Russian values and creating conditions for religious discord.

The Movement and its supporters are radical in their views and manifestations, rooted in hatred towards traditions, religion, culture, and their practitioners. Dissenters from LGBT ideas face repression, including being barred from teaching and having their own children taken away.

These actions represent the most vivid manifestation of the Movement’s extremist activities, characterized by the promotion of the exclusivity of its participants, affirming the priority of LGBT ideology, and dismissing criticism of laws accepted by representatives of the multi-ethnic Russian people. Numerous pages on social networks promoting LGBT ideology contain content with signs of extremist activity, according to linguistic studies by the Expert Criminalistic Center of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The court considers the scale of the Movement’s dissemination and its organization, along with its coordination of activities from the territory of foreign states, a threat to the national security of the Russian Federation.

Editor: Dmitry Treschanin

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