There’s some slow progress being made in St. Petersburg: that draconian “gay propaganda” law is now history. Of course, that doesn’t mean that life is now a dream for LGBTs in Russia, but it’s a step in the right direction.
This step doesn’t overturn the antigay laws nationwide. It’s just a repeal of St. Petersburg’s ban on any accurate acknowledgement of gays. A federal law remains in effect.
What’s the reason for the turnaround? It’s a little unclear. According to legislators, the law simply isn’t necessary anymore, with the federal ban now in place.
But LGBT organizers suspect that it might have something to do with a legal challenge currently pending before the European Court of Human Rights. If the court decides that Russia’s laws go too far and forces them to be overturned, it would be a humiliation for those antigay lawmakers.
So it’s possible that they might be secretly planning a new round of antigay laws that would be less vulnerable to legal challenge.
Meanwhile, at the federal level, lawmakers just rejected an attempt to ban all sex-education material for minors. The proposal was floated by Deputy Maria Maksakova-Igenbergs, who is — we are not making this up — a former nude model. What a country!