European court rules in favour of Russian gay activists

European court rules in favour of Russian gay activists

European court rules in favour of Russian gay activists

Russia's law banning gay propaganda among minors does not contradict worldwide practice, the Russian Justice Ministry said after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled it as discriminatory on Tuesday.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russian Federation in 1993, but anti-gay sentiment remains strong.

Russia's Justice Ministry denied the law was discriminatory or that it restricted freedom of speech, and said it would appeal the ruling within three months, state-run media TASS reported. After the Russian government banned a series of pride marches in the capital, Alexeyev took the case before the human rights court in 2010 and won.

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The activists had appealed to higher Russian courts without success.

"Above all, by adopting such laws the court found that the authorities had reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia, which was incompatible with the values - of equality, pluralism and tolerance - of a democratic society", the court document said.

The Constitutional Court had said the ban was justified on the grounds of protection of morals and spoke of the potential dangers of "creating a distorted impression of the social equivalence of traditional and non-traditional marital relations".

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They then filed applications with the European rights court in 2009 and 2012.

The courts ordered Russian Federation to pay each of the three activists damages of between €8,000 and €20,000.

Moscow will consider the decision made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which found Russia's legislation banning the promotion of homosexuality Russia's legislation banning the promotion of homosexuality to be discriminatory, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday. Moreover, the very objective of the laws and the way they were formulated and applied in the applicants' case had been discriminatory and, overall, served no legitimate public interest.

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