20 Dec 2012

Russian Parliament has postponed the first hearing of the amendments to the Russian Code of Administrative Offences regarding punishment for ‘propaganda of homosexuality amongst minors’ until 22 January 2013.

The bill, if passed, would lead to further discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LBGTI) people in a country where discrimination on ground of sexual orientation and gender identity is already widespread.

The Parliament’s Legal department pointed out that punishment for ‘propaganda of homosexuality amongst minors’ cannot take place so long as homosexuality is not defined in other legislation. At present Russian legislation does not contain a definition of ‘homosexuality’. In theory the draft law cannot go to a first hearing, so long as this definition does not exist. In response, the Committee on family, women and children’s affairs stated that the bill should still go through. However, they suggested a definition of ‘propaganda of homosexuality’ as ‘holding events by homosexuals in places which could be accessed by children, as well as calls to and approval of homosexual relationships on TV, radio at the time when children could see and hear them.’ They argued the bill would not ‘limit the right of a child to receive information about homosexuality, if it is stipulated by the child’s needs and age’. Amnesty International activists received similar responses to their appeals to the Committee.

Several Russian LGBTI activists, who conducted a ‘Kissing Day’ public action in front of the Parliament on 19 December 2012, as well as several counter-protestors, were detained by police on charges of ‘hooliganism’ and spent the night in the police cells. They have been fined 500 rubles (approximately US$16).


Please write immediately in Russian or your own language:

- Urging the authorities not to pass Draft Federal Law no. 44554-6, either in its current or amended form;
- Urging them to stop harassment of LGBTI activists;  
- Calling on them to protect the rights of everyone, regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, to freedom of expression and assembly, freedom from discrimination and equality before the law, in accordance with European and international human rights law.

Chairman, State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation 
Sergei Naryshkin 
 Address1: 1, Okhotny riad, Moscow 103265 Russian Federation 
 Address 2: 7, Mokhovaya str.Moscow 103265 Russian Federation
Fax: +7 495 6974258
 Salutation: Dear Chairman
Chairwoman, Committee on family, women and children's affairs
Yelena Mizulina
 State Duma of the Russian Federation
 2, Georgiyevski lane
 103265 Moscow
 Russian Federation 
Fax: +7 495 692 54 61
 Salutation: Dear Chairwoman
Head of GU MVD for Moscow
 Anatolii Yakunin
38, Petrovka str,
Moscow 103265
 Russian Federation
 Fax: +7 495 698 6 777
Email: mos-police [at] yandex [dot] ru
 Salutation: Dear Head of GU MV