Russian Supreme Court calls LGBTQ movement 'extremist'text_fields
Moscow: The Supreme Court of Russia ruled on Thursday that LGBTQ activists must be designated as extremists. The development could end up with members of the community there getting arrested and prosecuted, reports Reuters.
The court ruled so in an application filed by the justice ministry, seeking a declaration that "the international LGBT social movement" are extremists. The ministry also sought to ban its activities.
This is the fresh one among a series of developments in Russia that imposed restrictions on the expression of sexual orientation and gender identity. Earlier, laws were brought outlawing the promotion of 'non-traditional" sexual relations as well as banning legal or medical changes of gender, Reuters reports.
President Vladimir Putin is said to be promoting an image of Russia as a guardian of traditional moral values against the decadent West. Also, he is expected to seek another 6-year term as President's chair.
He commented in a speech last year that the West is welcome to adopt the LGBTQ movement but has no right to impose the same on other countries. He referred to the LGBTQ movement as "rather strange, in my view, new-fangled trends like dozens of genders and gay parades".
The five-hour-long hearing was barred to media, but they were allowed inside to hear the decision. According to Reuters, LGBTQ activists were expecting such a development after the laws that were already imposed.
An LGBTQ activist in St Petersburg told Reuters that leave-alone activities like legal or psychological support, even normal get-togethers, will also be affected and would be forced to be driven underground.