Like Lithuania, the Russian province Ryazan has a little law on the books banning anyone from pushing “gay propaganda” on kids. It’s basically a policy to keep any adult from doing, saying, or showing anything gay to a child. And it’s completely in line with Russia’s Constitution, apparently.
The Russian Constitutional Court has dismissed a complaint that the laws of Ryazan region prohibiting “propaganda of homosexuality” to minors are in contradiction with the the country’s Constitution. Nikolai Baev, who was one of two gay activists arrested last September in Ryazan, said this morning that the decision of the Constitutional Court legalised official homophobia in Russia. “The decision of the Constitutional Court legalized official homophobia in Russia,” Mr. Baev said in a statement to UK Gay News. “Now, the Russian authorities can not be afraid to be homophobic. Now they can easily pursue their discriminatory policy towards gays and lesbians. It is sad that the judges sides with those who justify discrimination of a big large number of Russian citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation. The decision of the Constitutional Court is monstrous just because it clearly states: there are “good”, “traditional” people and relations and there are “bad” and “non traditional” people and relations which can be discriminated and suppressed.”
So where does the court get off?
The Constitutional Court stressed that the Russian Constitution gives special protection to the motherhood, childhood and family which is the joint competence of federal and regional authorities. It held that “the family, motherhood and childhood in their traditional understanding, taken from the ancestors, represent those values which provide for the continuous change of generations and condition for safeguarding and development of the multinational people of the Russian Federation, which means they need special protection on the part of the state”.
Additionally the Court said that “the ban of such propaganda – as purposeful and uncontrolled activity connected to the dissemination of information which can harm the health, morals and spiritual development, including forming of distorted perceptions about social equivalence of traditional and nontraditional marriage relations, among persons, who are deprived, due to their age, of the ability to critically evaluate such information, can not be considered as breaching the constitutional rights of citizens”.
Constitutional Court came to the conclusion that the laws of Ryazan region “do not contain any measures directed at the ban of homosexuality or its official blaming, do not contain features of discrimination, do not, in their essence, allow excessive actions by the state bodies. Thus, the provisions of the laws which were appealed by the applicants can not be considered as limiting the freedom of speech.”