Russian gay propaganda law
|Gay propaganda law|
|Passed||11 June 2013|
|Enacted||30 June 2013|
|Introduced by||Yelena Mizulina|
|On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development|
|Prohibits exposure of minors to LGBT existence and material.|
LGBT rights movement
|Status: Current legislation|
|Part of a series on|
|Lesbian ∙ Gay ∙ Bisexual ∙ Transgender|
The Russian federal law "for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating a Denial of Traditional Family Values", also referred to in English-language media as the gay propaganda law and the anti-gay law, is a bill that was unanimously approved by the State Duma on 11 June 2013 (with just one MP abstaining—Ilya Ponomarev), and was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin on 30 June 2013.
The Russian government's stated purpose for the law is to protect children from being exposed to homosexuality—condemn presenting homosexuality as being a norm in society—under the argument that it contradicts traditional family values. The statute amended the country's child protection law and the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses, to prohibit the distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" among minors. This definition includes materials that "raises interest in" such relationships, cause minors to "form non-traditional sexual predispositions", or "[present] distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships." Businesses and organizations can also be forced to temporarily cease operations if convicted under the law, and foreigners may be arrested and detained for up to 15 days then deported, or fined up to 5,000 rubles and deported.
The Kremlin's backing of the law appealed to the Russian nationalist far-right. The law was condemned by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe (of which Russia was a member at the time of the bills approval), by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and by human rights groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The statute was criticized for its broad and ambiguous wording (including the aforementioned "raises interest in" and "among minors"), which many critics characterized as being an effective ban on publicly promoting the rights and culture of the LGBT community. The law was also criticized for leading to an increase and justification of homophobic violence, while the implications of the laws in relation to the then-upcoming Winter Olympics being hosted by Sochi were also cause for concern, as the Olympic Charter contains language explicitly barring various forms of discrimination.
Despite the fact that the cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg have been well known for their thriving LGBT communities, there has been growing opposition towards gay rights among politicians since 2006. The city of Moscow has actively refused to authorize gay pride parades, and former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov supported the city's refusal to authorize the first two Moscow Pride events, describing them as "satanic" and blaming western groups for spreading "this kind of enlightenment" in the country. Fair Russia member of parliament Alexander Chuev was also opposed to gay rights and attempted to introduce a similar "propaganda" law in 2007. In response, prominent LGBT rights activist and Moscow Pride founder Nikolay Alexeyev disclosed on the television talk show К барьеру! that Chuev had been publicly involved in same-sex relationships prior to his time in office.
In 2010, Russia was fined by the European Court of Human Rights under allegations by Alexeyev that cities were discriminating against gays by refusing to approve pride parades. Although claiming a risk of violence, the court interpreted the decisions as being in support of groups which oppose such demonstrations. In March 2012, a Russian judge blocked the establishment of a Pride House in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, ruling that it would "undermine the security of Russian society", and that it contradicted with public morality and policies "in the area of family motherhood and childhood protection." In August 2012, Moscow upheld a ruling blocking Nikolay Alexeyev's requests for 100 years' worth of permission to hold Moscow Pride annually, citing the possibility of public disorder.
The bill "On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development" introduced laws which prohibited the distribution of "harmful" material among minors. This includes content which "may elicit fear, horror, or panic in children" among minors, pornography, along with materials which glorify violence, unlawful activities, substance abuse, or self-harm. An amendment to the law passed in 2012 instituted a mandatory content rating system for material distributed through an "information and telecommunication network" (covering television and the internet), and established a blacklist for censoring websites which contain child pornography or content glorifying drug abuse and suicide.
The 2013 amendment, which added "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" as a class of harmful content under the law was, according to the Government of Russia, intended to protect children from being exposed to content that portrays homosexuality as being a "behavioural norm". Emphasis was placed upon a goal to protect "traditional" family values; bill author Yelena Mizulina (the chair of the Duma's Committee on Family, Women, and Children, who has been described by some as a "moral crusader"), argued that "traditional" relations between a man and a woman required special protection under Russian law. The amendment also expanded upon similar laws enacted by several Russian regions, including Ryazan, Arkhangelsk (who repealed its law shortly after the passing of the federal version), and Saint Petersburg.
Mark Gevisser writes that the Kremlin's backing of the law was reflective of a "dramatic tilt toward homophobia" in Russia that began in the years preceding the law's passage. Gevisser writes that the law's passage allowed the Russian government to find "common ground" with the nationalist far right, and also appeal to the many Russians who view "homosexuality as a sign of encroaching decadence in a globalized era." He writes: "Many Russians feel they can steady themselves against this cultural tsunami by laying claim to 'traditional values,' of which rejection of homosexuality is the easiest shorthand. This message plays particularly well for a government wishing to mobilize against demographic decline (childless homosexuals are evil) and cozy up to the Russian Orthodox Church (homosexuals with children are evil)." Human Rights Watch noted that Putin's enactment of the law allowed him to pander to socially conservative voters at home and "position Russia as a champion of so-called 'traditional values'" on the global stage.
Article 1 of the bill amended On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development with a provision classifying "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" as a class of materials that must not be distributed among minors. The term is defined as materials that are "[aimed] at causing minors to form non-traditional sexual predispositions, notions of attractiveness of non-traditional sexual relationships, distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships, or imposing information about non-traditional sexual relationships which raises interest in such relationships insofar as these acts do not amount to a criminal offence."
Article 2 makes similar amendments to "On basic guarantees for the rights of the child in the Russian Federation", commanding the government to protect children from such material.
Article 3 of the bill amended the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses with Article 6.21, which prescribes penalties for violations of the propaganda ban: Russian citizens found guilty can receive fines of up to 5,000 rubles, and public officials can receive fines of up to 50,000 rubles. Organizations or businesses can be fined up to 1 million rubles and be forced to cease operations for up to 90 days. Foreigners may be arrested and detained for up to 15 days then deported, or fined up to 5,000 rubles and deported. The fines for individuals are much higher if the offense was committed using mass media or internet.
According to a survey conducted in June 2013 by the state-owned All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (also known as VTsIOM), at least 90 percent of Russians surveyed were in favour of the law. Over 100 conservative groups worldwide signed a petition in support for the law, with Larry Jacobs, manager of the World Congress of Families, supporting its aim to "prohibit advocacy aimed at involving minors in a lifestyle that would imperil their physical and moral health." President of Russia Vladimir Putin answered to early objections to the then-proposed bill in April 2013 by stating that "I want everyone to understand that in Russia there are no infringements on sexual minorities' rights. They're people, just like everyone else, and they enjoy full rights and freedoms". He went on to say that he fully intended to sign the bill because the Russian people demanded it. As he put it, "Can you imagine an organization promoting pedophilia in Russia? I think people in many Russian regions would have started to take up arms.... The same is true for sexual minorities: I can hardly imagine same-sex marriages being allowed in Chechnya. Can you imagine it? It would have resulted in human casualties." Putin also mentioned that he was concerned about Russia's low birth rate, as same-sex relationships do not produce children. In August 2013, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko also defended the law, equating it to protecting children from content that glorifies alcohol abuse or drug addiction. He also argued that the controversy over the law and its effects was "invented" by the Western media.
The passing of the law was met with major international backlash, especially from the Western world, as critics considered it an attempt to effectively ban the promotion of LGBT rights and culture in the country. Article 19 disputed the claimed intent of the law, and felt that many of the terms used within were too ambiguous, such as the aforementioned "non-traditional sexual relationships", and "raises interest in". The organization argued that it "feasibly could apply to any information regarding sexual orientation or gender identity that does not fit with what the State considers as in-line with 'tradition'." The term "among minors" was also criticized as being ambiguous, since it is unclear whether it refers to being in the presence of minors, or any place where minors could be present. They argued that "predicting the presence of children in any space, on-line or off-line, is quite impossible and is a variable that the proponent of any expression will rarely be in absolute control of."
The law was condemned by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon indirectly criticized the law. LGBT rights activists, human rights activists, and other critics stated that the broad and vague wording of the law, which was characterized as a ban on gay propaganda by the media, made it a crime to publicly make statements or distribute materials in support of LGBT rights, hold pride parades or similar demonstrations, state that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships, or according to Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Chad Griffin, even display LGBT symbols such as the rainbow flag or kiss a same-sex partner in public. The first arrest made under the law involved a person who publicly protested with a sign containing a pro-LGBT message.
The legislation reportedly led to an increase in violence against LGBT people in Russia. Russian LGBT Network chairman Igor Kochetkov argued that the law "[has] essentially legalised violence against LGBT people, because these groups of hooligans justify their actions with these laws," supported by their belief that gays and lesbians are "not valued as a social group" by the federal government. Reports surfaced of activity by groups such as 'Occupy Paedophilia' and 'Parents of Russia', who lured alleged "paedophiles" into "dates" where they were tortured and humiliated. In August 2013, it was reported that a gay teenager was kidnapped, tortured, and killed by a group of Russian Neo-Nazis. Violence also increased during pro-gay demonstrations; on 29 July 2013, a gay pride demonstration at Saint Petersburg's Field of Mars resulted in a violent clash between activists, protesters, and police.
In January 2014, a letter, co-written by chemist Sir Harry Kroto and actor Sir Ian McKellen and co-signed by 27 Nobel laureates from the fields of science and the arts, was sent to Vladimir Putin urging him to repeal the propaganda law as it "inhibits the freedom of local and foreign LGBT communities." In February 2014, the activist group Queer Nation announced a planned protest in New York City outside the Russian consulate on 6 February 2014, timed to coincide with the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The same day, gay rights group All Out similarly coordinated worldwide protests in London, New York City, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro. On 8 February 2014, a flash mob was held in Cambridge, England featuring same-sex couples embracing and hugging, as part of a video project known as "From Russia With Love".
The TV documentary Stephen Fry: Out There explored gay rights and homophobia in numerous countries in the world, including Russia. In it, Stephen Fry interviews a lesbian couple who discuss their fears that simply being out to their 16-year-old daughter and her friends could be taken as breaking this law, due to the law's prohibition "on anyone disseminating information about homosexuality to under 18s". The LGBT news magazine The Advocate described the law as criminalising "any positive discussion of LGBT people, identities, or issues in forums that might be accessible to minors. In practice, the law has given police broad license to interpret almost any mention of being LGBT—whether uttered, printed, or signified by waving a rainbow flag—as just cause to arrest LGBT people." The US State Department in its 2013 report on human rights in Russia noted the clarification from Roskomnadzor (the Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications) that the "gay propaganda" prohibited under the law includes materials which "directly or indirectly approve of people who are in nontraditional sexual relationships." One couple interviewed by Fry said: "Of course we are afraid because we really don't know what's going to happen next in the country. ... You just don't know if they can incarcerate you tomorrow for something or not." Fry also interviewed politician Vitaly Milonov, the original proponent of the law, whose attempts to defend it have been strongly criticized; Milonov responded branding Fry as "sick" for making a suicide attempt while filming the documentary in an interview in which he also compared homosexuality with bestiality.
Incompatibility with the European Convention of Human Rights
There is a general consensus that the law violates the European Convention of Human Rights, which Russia ratified. In the 2017 case Bayev and Others v. Russia brought by three Russian LGBT activists following their convictions under local anti-propaganda laws, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the laws in question violated the applicants' freedom of speech and right not to be discriminated against in the exercise of Convention rights. The court found that "the authorities reinforce[d] stigma and prejudice and encourage[d] homophobia, which is incompatible with the notions of equality, pluralism and tolerance in a democratic society".
The Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional law, the Venice Commission, passed a resolution in 2013 stating that bans on "propaganda of homosexuality" "are incompatible with ECHR and international human rights standards" for several reasons. First, these bans were worded too vaguely to satisfy the requirement in Article 10 ECHR that limits on freedom of expression must be "prescribed by law". Second, "homosexuality as a variation of sexual orientation, is protected under the ECHR and as such, cannot be deemed contrary to morals by public authorities, in the sense of Article 10 § 2 of The ECHR". Third, the laws only target "propaganda of homosexuality" but not "propaganda of heterosexuality", which amounts to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation under Article 14 ECHR.
A number of protests were held against the law, both locally and internationally. Activists demonstrated outside New York City's Lincoln Center at the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera on 23 September 2013, which was set to feature Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin. The protests targeted Tchaikovsky's own homosexuality, and the involvement of two Russians in the production; soprano Anna Netrebko and conductor Valery Gergiev, as they were identified as vocal supporters of Putin's government.
On 12 October 2013, the day following National Coming Out Day, a protest organized by at least 15 activists was held in Saint Petersburg. The protest site was occupied by a large number of demonstrators, some of whom were dressed as Russian Orthodox priests and Cossacks. In total, 67 protestors were arrested for creating a public disturbance.
Activists also called for a boycott of Stolichnaya vodka, who had prominently branded itself as a Russian vodka (going as far as to dub itself "[the] Mother of All Vodkas from The Motherland of Vodka" in an ad campaign). However, its Luxembourg-based parent company, Soiuzplodoimport, responded to the boycott effort, noting that the company was not technically Russian, did not support the government's opinion on homosexuality, and described itself as a "fervent supporter and friend" of LGBT people.
Proposed similar laws in Kyrgyzstan
In 2014, a bill modeled after the Russian anti-gay law was proposed in the parliament of Kyrgyzstan; the measure, which "drew a welter of criticism from multiple rights groups, governments, the United Nations Human Rights Council and the European parliament," would provide for even harsher penalties than the Russian law. The bill passed its first two readings by wide margins (79–7 and then 90–2) but faltered after two of the legislation's lead sponsors failed to win reelection. In 2016, the legislation was again raised in parliament, but was held up in subcommittee.
Prosecutions and other effects
The first arrest made under the propaganda law occurred just hours after it was passed: 24-year-old activist Dmitry Isakov was arrested in Kazan for publicly holding a sign reading "Freedom to the Gays and Lesbians of Russia. Down With Fascists and Homophobes", and ultimately fined 4,000 rubles (US$115). Isakov had performed a similar protest in the same location the previous day as a "test" run, but was later caught in an altercation with police officers who targeted his pro-gay activism, and arrested him for swearing. He would be released without charge, but pledged to return there the next day to show that he would "not be cowed by such pressure." Isakov also claimed that he had been fired from his job at a bank as a result of the conviction.
In December 2013, Nikolay Alexeyev and Yaroslav Yevtushenko were fined 4,000 rubles for picketing outside a children's library in Arkhangelsk with banners reading, "Gays aren't made, they're born!" Their appeal was denied.
In January 2014, Alexander Suturin, editor-in-chief of the Khabarovsk newspaper Molodoi Dalnevostochnik, was fined 50,000 rubles (US$1,400) for publishing a news story discussing the teacher Alexander Yermoshkin, who had been fired for self-admittedly holding "rainbow flash mobs" in Khabarovsk with his students, and was subsequently attacked by right-wing extremists because of his sexuality. The fine centred around a quote in the article by the teacher, who stated that his very existence was "effective proof that homosexuality is normal."
Elena Klimova has been charged under the law multiple times for operating Children-404—an online support group for LGBT youth on the social networking services VKontakte and Facebook. The first of these charges was overturned in February 2014, after a court ruled in consultation with a mental health professional that the group "helps teenagers exploring their sexuality to deal with difficult emotional issues and other problems that they may encounter", and that these activities did not constitute "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" as defined under the law. In January 2015, Klimova was sent to court for the same charges. They were overturned on appeal, only for the same court to convict Kilmova and issue a fine of 50,000 rubles in July 2015, pending an appeal.
In November 2014, one day after current Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook publicly announced that he was proud of being gay, it was reported that an iPhone-shaped memorial honoring its late co-founder Steve Jobs had been removed from a Saint Petersburg university campus by its installer, the West European Financial Union (ZEFS). It was alleged that the memorial was removed due to the law because it was in an area frequented by minors. In September 2015, Apple became the subject of an investigation by officials in Kirov for implementing emoji on its operating systems which depict same-sex relationships, over whether they may constitute a promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships to minors. Roskomnadzor later ruled that by themselves, emoji depicting same-sex couples did not constitute a violation of the propaganda law, as whether they have a positive or negative connotation depends on their actual context and usage.
Effects on sports
The 2013 World Championships in Athletics, held at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium in August 2013, were overshadowed by comments and protests over the law by athletes. After winning a silver medal at the event, U.S. runner Nick Symmonds stated that "whether you're gay, straight, black, white, we all deserve the same rights. If there's anything I can do to champion the cause and further it, I will, shy of getting arrested." Swedish athletes Emma Green Tregaro and Moa Hjelmer painted their fingernails in rainbow colors as a symbolic protest. However, Tregaro was forced to re-paint them after they were deemed a political gesture that violated the rules of the IAAF. In response, she re-painted them red as a symbol of love. Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva criticized Tregaro's gesture as being disrespectful to the host country, stating in a press conference that "we have our law which everyone has to respect. When we go to different countries, we try to follow their rules. We are not trying to set our rules over there. We are just trying to be respectful." After Isinbayeva's remarks attracted widespread criticism, she argued that her choice of words had been "misunderstood" due to poor English.
The implications of the law on Russia's hosting of two major international sporting events, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi (where seven LGBT athletes, all female, were expected to compete) and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, were called into question. In the case of the World Cup, FIFA had recently established an anti-discrimination task force, and was also facing criticism for awarding the 2022 World Cup to the country of Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal; in August 2013, FIFA requested information from the Russian government on the law and its potential effects on the association football tournament. In the case of the Winter Olympics, critics considered the law to be inconsistent with the Olympic Charter, which states that "[discrimination] on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement." In August 2013, the International Olympic Committee "received assurances from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games", and also received word that the government would abide by the Olympic Charter. The IOC also confirmed that it would enforce Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, which forbids political protest, against athletes who make displays of support for the LGBT community at the Games. Vladimir Putin also made similar assurances prior to the Games, but warned LGBT attendees that they would still be subject to the law.
Athletes and supporters used the Olympics as leverage for further campaigns against the propaganda law. A number of athletes came out as lesbian, gay, or bisexual to spread awareness of the situation in Russia, including Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff, Canadian speed skater Anastasia Bucsis, gold medal figure skater Brian Boitano, and Finnish swimmer Ari-Pekka Liukkonen. There were also calls to boycott the Games, drawing comparisons to the Summer Olympics of 1980 in Moscow, the last time the Olympics were held on what is now Russian soil. A campaign known as Principle 6 was established in collaboration between a group of Olympic athletes, the organizations All Out and Athlete Ally, and clothing maker American Apparel, selling merchandise (such as clothing) with a quotation from the Olympic Charter to support pro-LGBT organizations. Toronto advertising copywriter Brahm Finkelstein also began to market a rainbow-coloured matryoshka doll set known as "Pride Dolls", designed by Italian artist Danilo Santino, to benefit the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association, organizers of the World Outgames.
Action was leveraged directly against Olympic sponsors and partners as well; in late-August 2013, the Human Rights Campaign sent letters to the ten Worldwide Olympic Partner companies, urging them to show opposition towards anti-LGBT laws, denounce homophobic violence, ask the IOC to obtain written commitments for the safety of LGBT athletes and attendees, and oppose future Olympic bids from countries that outlaw support for LGBT equality. In February 2014, prior to the games, a group of 40 human rights organizations (including Athlete Ally, Freedom House, Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights Watch and Russian LGBT Network among others) also sent a joint letter to the Worldwide Olympic Partners, urging them to use their prominence to support the rights of LGBT athletes under the Olympic Charter, and pressure the IOC to show greater scrutiny towards the human rights abuses of future host countries. On 3 February 2014, USOC sponsor AT&T issued a statement in support of LGBT rights at the Games, becoming the first major Olympic advertiser to condemn the laws. Several major non-sponsors also made pro-LGBT statements to coincide with the opening of the Games; Google placed a quotation from the Olympic Charter and an Olympic-themed logo in the colours of the rainbow flag on its home page worldwide, while Channel 4 (who serves as the official British broadcaster of the Paralympics) adopted a rainbow-coloured logo and broadcast a "celebratory", pro-LGBT advert entitled "Gay Mountain" on 7 February 2014, alongside an interview with former rugby union player and anti-homophobia activist Ben Cohen. As part of its Dispatches series, Channel 4 had also broadcast a documentary during the week of the Opening Ceremony entitled Hunted, which documented the violence and abuse against LGBT people in Russia in the wake of the law.
Effects on video games
In May 2014, it was revealed that in accordance with the propaganda law, the computer game The Sims 4—a new installment in a life simulation game franchise published by Electronic Arts which has historically allowed characters to participate in same-sex relationships, and allowed players to give their characters a customised gender, had been given an "18+" rating, restricting its sale to adults only. In contrast, the pan-European ratings board PEGI has historically rated The Sims games as being suitable for those aged 12 and over.
In December 2016, the video game FIFA 17 (which is also published by Electronic Arts) was targeted for an event that allowed users to obtain rainbow-coloured shoelaces for their virtual footballers, in support of a pro-LGBT advocacy campaign backed by the English Premier League. MP Irina Rodnina stated that relevant authorities needed to "verify the possibility of distributing this game on the territory of the Russian Federation".
In December 2016, Blizzard Entertainment geo-blocked a tie-in web comic for its game Overwatch in Russia for containing a scene of the character Tracer, who was confirmed as being lesbian, kissing her partner, another woman. Blizzard cited the gay propaganda law as reasoning for the block. The game itself is not blocked in the country.
In February 2021, Miitopia received an 18+ rating due to the ability of same-sex Miis being able to form "relationships" with each other despite no actual sexual content whatsoever being present in the game.
- Bayev and Others v. Russia
- Concerns and controversies at the 2014 Winter Olympics
- List of 2018 FIFA World Cup controversies
- Hungarian anti-LGBT law
- "LGBT website founder fined under Russia's gay propaganda laws". The Guardian. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
- Johnson, Ted (24 July 2013). "Russia's Anti-Gay Laws Present Challenge for NBC's Olympics Coverage". Variety. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- "Russia passes anti-gay-law". The Guardian. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Russian 'Anti-Gay' Bill Passes With Overwhelming Majority". RIA Novosti. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- Lipman, Masha (11 August 2013). "The battle over Russia's anti-gay law". The New Yorker.
- Paul Gallagher and Vanessa Thorpe (2 February 2014). "Shocking footage of anti-gay groups". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Herszenhorn, David M. (11 August 2013). "Gays in Russia find no haven, despite support from the West". The New York Times.
- "Moscow says No to May 25 gay pride parade". RIA Novosti. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- "Moscow bans 'satanic' gay parade". BBC News. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Gay Pride parade 'satanic': mayor". Sydney Morning Herald. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "Homophobic politician outed on national TV". Pink News. 22 June 2007. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
- "European court fines Russia for banning gay parades". BBC News. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2014.
- "Judge bans Sochi 2014 gay Pride House claiming it would offend "public morality"". Inside the Games. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "European court fines Russia for banning gay parades". BBC News. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
- "Gay parades banned in Moscow for 100 years". BBC News. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "Amendments to the law on protecting children from information harmful to their health and development". Kremlin.ru. Government of Russia. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Law on protecting children from negative and harmful information". Kremlin.ru. Government of Russia. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Russia awaits verdict on a new TV censorship law". Russia Behind the Headlines. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Russia internet blacklist law takes effect". BBC News. November 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Russia: Federal laws introducing ban of propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" (PDF). Article 19. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- Sonne, Paul (27 August 2013). "Parody painting of Putin in women's underwear seized in Russian raid". Wall Street Journal.
- Mills, Laura (10 August 2013). "Morality crusader fuels the fire". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013.
- Alpert, Lukas I. (11 June 2013). "Russia passes bill banning gay 'propaganda'". Wall Street Journal.
- Flintoff, Corey (18 June 2013). "Russian parliament may pass anti-gay law". NPR.
- "Russian region repeals gay propaganda law". Gay Star News. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- Mark Gevisser, Life Under Russia's 'Gay Propaganda' Ban, New York Times (27 December 2013).
- "No Support: Russia's "Gay Propaganda" Law Imperils LGBT Youth". Human Rights Watch. 11 December 2018.
- "Six U.S. Organizations Voice Support of Russia's Antigay Law". The Advocate. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- "Q&A: Gay rights in Russia". BBC News. 13 August 2013.
- Rose, Scott (1 July 2013). "Putin signs law banning gay 'propaganda' among children". Bloomberg L.P.
- Agence France-Presse (18 August 2013). "'Anti gay' law furore Western media invention, claims Russian sports minister". The42.ie. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- Russia's anti-gay 'propaganda law' assault on freedom of expression, Amnesty International (25 January 2013).
- Russia: New laws an affront to basic human rights, Amnesty International (1 July 2013).
- Russia: Anti-LGBT Law a Tool for Discrimination: An Anniversary Assessment, Human Rights Watch (29 June 2014).
- Owen Gibson & Shaun Walker, Ban Ki-moon condemns persecution of gay people in Russia, The Guardian (6 February 2014): "Ban did not refer specifically to Russia's new laws, which ban the promotion of 'non-traditional' sexual relations to under-18s, but his words carry strong symbolic weight."
- "Russia: Use Leadership to Repeal Discriminatory Propaganda Law". Human Rights Watch. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- Nakamura, David. "Obama meets with gay rights activists in Russia". Washington Post. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- Fierstein, Harvey (21 July 2013). "Russia's Anti-Gay Crackdown". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
- "Russia: First person to be convicted under anti-gay 'propaganda' law arrested by his own parents". Pink News. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- "Russian anti-gay law prompts rise in homophobic violence". The Guardian. September 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- "Dozens Held at LGBT Rally in Russia's St.Petersburg". RIA. 29 June 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Gay teenager kidnapped and tortured by Russian homophobes claimed to have died from injuries". Pink News. 6 August 2013. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Greene, Andy (22 January 2014). "Elton John Blasts Russia: 'Vicious Homophobia Has Been Legitimized'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- "Sir Ian McKellen pens protest over Russian gay law". BBC News. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- "Queer Nation To Protest Outside New York Russian Consulate During Opening Ceremonies". Towleroad.com. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Sochi: Athletes, fans set for Russia's Winter Olympics spectacle". CNN. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Ebel, Francesca. "Gay pride flashmob occupies King's Parade for Sochi". The Tab. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015.
- Cooke, Rachel (24 October 2013). "Stephen Fry's documentary about gay life across the globe is unexpectedly absorbing". New Statesman. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Stephen Fry (presenter); Fergus O'Brien (director) (2013). Stephen Fry: Out There (Television Documentary). Maverick Television (production company); BBC (distributor). Event occurs at 24:40–27:00 (episode 2 / 2).
Narrator (Stephen Fry): The man behind the new law is the Deputy of St. Petersburg, Vitaly Milanov. He believes that he can prevent a new generation of Russians from becoming gay be banning so-called gay propaganda. It's created an impossible situation for gay parents here who could now be accused of promoting their homosexuality to their own children. ... Olga, a local activist, has arranged for me to meet some of those living with the fallout from the law. ... Irina and Olga have been together for 12 years, and each have one child from previous relationships: 20-year old Daniel, and Christina, who at 16 is still considered a minor.
STEPHEN FRY: According to this new law, every day you are breaking the law by promoting homosexuality to Christina. (Olga and Irina nodding)
OLGA (in Russian): Yes, not only Christina but her friends too! According to Mr Milinov gay families are perverts and their children are even worse. It's very insulting and hard for the kids, especially Christina. All of that was very unpleasant for her to hear.
STEPHEN FRY: Does it actually seriously worry you that the day may come when you as a family are threatened by this new law?
IRINA (in Russian): Of course we are afraid because we really don't know what's going to happen next in the country. There is even aggression in the streets and it is getting worse.
OLGA (in Russian): We are living in a very difficult period of time historically.
IRINA (in Russian):You just don't know if they can incarcerate you tomorrow for something or not.
- Juzwiak, Rich (17 October 2013). "Stephen Fry hands anti-gay Russian lawmaker his ass". Gawker. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Mason, Rowena (19 August 2013). "David Cameron met Stephen Fry to discuss Russian gay rights row". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Senzee, Thom (14 October 2014). "WATCH: Coming Out Day Arrests Are Proof Putin Wants to Turn Back Time". The Advocate. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
- "Russia 2013 Human Rights Report" (PDF). United States Department of State. 2016. p. 55. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
President Putin signed a law that criminalizes the so-called propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors. The law effectively limits the rights of free expression and assembly for citizens who wish to publicly advocate for LGBT rights or express the opinion that homosexuality is normal (see sections 2.a. and 2.b.). On December 2, Roskomnadzor issued a list of clarifying criteria and examples of so-called LGBT propaganda, which includes materials that "directly or indirectly approve of people who are in nontraditional sexual relationships." LGBT persons reported dramatically heightened societal stigma and discrimination, which some attributed to increasing official promotion of intolerance and homophobia. Gay rights activists asserted that the majority of LGBT persons hid their orientation due to fear of losing their jobs or their homes as well as the threat of violence
- Judd, Terri (12 August 2013). "Russian politician Vitaly Milonov brands Stephen Fry 'sick' during anti-gay rant". The Independent. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Stephen Fry suicide bid took place while filming 'Out There' BBC documentary about being gay". The Independent. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- Johnson, Paul (2015). "'Homosexual Propaganda' Laws in the Russian Federation: Are They in Violation of the European Convention on Human Rights?". Russian Law Journal. 3 (2): 37–61. doi:10.17589/2309-8678-2015-3-2-37-61. ISSN 2312-3605.
- Bayev and Others v. Russia, HUDOC
- "Opinion on the issue of the prohibition of so-called "propaganda of homosexuality" in the light of recent legislation in some member states of the Council of Europe adopted by the Venice commission at its 95th plenary session (Venice, 14-15 June 2013)". www.venice.coe.int. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
- "Why Met Won't Bow to Protest of Anti-Gay Law: Peter Gelb". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
- "Gay Rights Protest Greets Opening Night at the Met". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
- "Gay rights protest in St. Petersburg ends in clashes, arrests". Reuters. 12 October 2013. Archived from the original on 14 January 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "67 arrested in gay rights rally in St. Petersburg". CP24. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- "Facing Fury Over Antigay Law, Stoli Says 'Russian? Not Really'". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
- Anna Lelik, Kyrgyzstan: Anti-LGBT Bill Hits the Buffers, EurasiaNet (24 May 2016).
- Catherine Putz, Kyrgyz Anti-Gay Propaganda Law Moves Forward, The Diplomat (26 June 2015).
- "Vladimir Putin has unleashed a frightening wave of homophobia that even he cannot control". The Telegraph. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- Curtis M. Wong (6 February 2014). "How Russia's Ban On 'Gay Propaganda' Is Being Enforced". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- Nechepurenko, Ivan. "Fallout of Anti-Gay Law Felt in Far East". The Moscow Times.
- Greenslade, Roy (14 November 2013). "Russian paper accused of 'gay propaganda' for reporting news". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- "First Publication Fined for 'Gay Propaganda' in Russia". Towleroad.com. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Kevin O'Flynn (10 August 2013). "Gay Russian teens communicate in secret to avoid law on 'propaganda'". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- "Russian journalist accused of anti-gay "propaganda" defeats charges". Amnesty International. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- Cook, Tim (29 October 2014). "Tim Cook: "I'm Proud to be Gay"". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg LP. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- "Steve Jobs memorial in Russia is removed after Tim Cook comes out as gay", by Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times, 11 March 2014
- "Russia could be investigating Apple over 'gay propaganda' because of emoji". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
- "Russian censors say emojis don't violate 'gay propaganda' ban". Washington Times. Washington Times, LLC. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- "Russia Bans Popular LGBT Website for 'Propaganda of Nontraditional Sexual Relations'". The Moscow Times. 30 March 2018.
- "LGBT Website Gay.ru Blocked Within Russia". The Advocate. 2 April 2018.
- "Russia bans 'Gay.ru'". Meduza. 30 March 2018.
- Luhn, Alec (14 August 2013). "US athlete Nick Symmonds speaks out against Russia's LGBT propaganda law in Moscow: Runner dedicates silver medal to gay and lesbian friends at home during world athletics championships". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Swedish athletes' "rainbow nail" protest draws outrage and support". Sveriges Radio. 15 August 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- Zaccardi, Nick (17 August 2013). "Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro told rainbow nails break IAAF rules". NBCSN. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- "Yelena Isinbayeva attempts to clarify comments on Russia's anti-gay law". The Guardian. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
- "7 out LGBT Winter Olympians in Sochi". Outsports. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Fifa urged to pressure Russia and Qatar over anti-gay legislation". The Guardian. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- Gregory, Sean (10 September 2013). "Three Big Issues Facing the Next Olympic Committee President". Time. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "IOC Statement". Olympic.org. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- "Sochi Winter Olympics 2014: International Olympic Committee receives assurances on anti-gay laws". Daily Telegraph. 9 August 2013.
- Reid-Smith, Treis (12 August 2013). "Olympic Committee threatens to punish athletes who fight for gay Russians". Gay Star News.
- "Putin says gays should feel welcome at Sochi". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff comes out as gay to protest Russian laws". Outsports (SB Nation). Vox Media. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- Kelly Cryderman (3 September 2013). "Olympic speed skater Anastasia Bucsis 'so proud to be gay'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Figure Skater Brian Boitano Comes Out As Gay Ahead of Sochi Olympics". Huffington Post. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Ranta, Jarno (2 February 2014). "Suomalainen olympiauimari kaapista ulos—'Vihdoin voin olla oma itseni'" [Finnish Olympic swimmer out of the closet—"At last I can be myself"]. Yle (in Finnish). Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "Merchandise Uses Olympics Principles Against Russian Anti-Gay Laws". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Turnbull, Barbara (5 February 2014). "Olympics: gay-themed Russian nesting dolls are a hit". Toronto Star. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- "Nesting-doll set to raise awareness of Russian LGBT controversy". Digitaljournal.com. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "HRC Calls on Olympic Sponsors to Condemn Anti-LGBT Law in Russia, Advocate for Equality Worldwide". Human Rights Campaign. 8 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "Sochi 2014 Olympics Unsafe For LGBT Community Under Russia's Anti-Gay Law, Activists Warn". International Business Times. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- "Human rights groups urge Olympic corporate sponsors to speak out against Russia's policies". Boston.com. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- "AT&T Becomes First Major Advertiser to Protest Russia's Antigay Law". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- Guynn, Jessica (6 February 2014). "Google takes stand against anti-gay law at Sochi Winter Olympics". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- Claire, Hodgson (6 February 2014). "Sochi 2014: Channel 4 logo goes rainbow to show support for gay community ahead of Winter Olympics". The Mirror. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- "C4 goes rainbow to wish "good luck to those out in Sochi"". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
- Banks, Cory (9 May 2014). "The Sims 4 rated Adults Only in Russia". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- Chalk, Andy (9 May 2014). "The Sims 4 Rated Adults-Only in Russia Over Same-Sex Relationships". The Escapist. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- Orland, Kyle (9 May 2014). "Russia hangs adults-only rating on The Sims 4". Ars Technica. Condé Nast Digital. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- "Russian MPs accuse Fifa 17 video game of 'gay propaganda'". The Guardian. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Frank, Allegra (20 December 2016). "Overwatch's new comic confirms game's first queer character". Polygon. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
- "Overwatch webcomic not released in Russia over gay character". Eurogamer. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
- "Miitopia Has An 18+ Rating In Russia Because Of Its Same-Sex Relationships". Nintendo Life. 18 February 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
- Hylton, Emily; Wirtz, Andrea L.; Zelaya, Carla E.; Latkin, Carl; Peryshkina, Alena; Mogilnyi, Vladmir; Dzhigun, Petr; Kostetskaya, Irina; Galai, Noya; Beyrer, Chris (2017). "Sexual Identity, Stigma, and Depression: the Role of the "Anti-gay Propaganda Law" in Mental Health among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Moscow, Russia". Journal of Urban Health. 94 (3): 319–329. doi:10.1007/s11524-017-0133-6. PMC 5481210. PMID 28243868.
- Kondakov, Alexander; Shtorn, Evgeny (2021). "Sex, Alcohol, and Soul: Violent Reactions to Coming Out after the "Gay Propaganda" Law in Russia". The Russian Review. 80 (1): 37–55. doi:10.1111/russ.12297. hdl:10138/338525. S2CID 234194944.
- Kondakov, Alexander (2021). "The influence of the 'gay-propaganda' law on violence against LGBTIQ people in Russia: Evidence from criminal court rulings". European Journal of Criminology. 18 (6): 940–959. doi:10.1177/1477370819887511. S2CID 210497632.
- Moss, Kevin (2021). "Russia's Queer Science, or How Anti‐LGBT Scholarship is Made". The Russian Review. 80 (1): 17–36. doi:10.1111/russ.12296. S2CID 234307412.
- Utkin, Roman (2021). "Queer Vulnerability and Russian Poetry after the "Gay Propaganda" Law". The Russian Review. 80 (1): 77–99. doi:10.1111/russ.12299. S2CID 234327909.