Russia, Europe

As of 2011, Russia has no criminal law directed at LGBT people and has refused to enact legislation to address discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Public opinion about LGBT topics and people tends to be negative, although there is a visible LGBT community network, including nightclubs and political organizations. In 2010 anti-gay Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov was replaced by another homophobe Sergey Sobyanin who continues to refuse authorizating gay Pride events. As usual attempts to defy the ban and march in public (in 2011) degenerated into violent clashes with anti-gay protestors and as usual police failed to protect gay rights activists. Several were taken to jail but later released. Nevertheless GayRussia continues to resist against repression and inequality.


News & Reports:


Russian court backs St Petersburg’s anti-gay law

Russia’s Supreme Court has ruled that the country’s second largest city of St Petersburg can continue to enforce its homophobic censorship law. It equates homosexuality with “paedophilia” and was passed by the city on February 29 of this year – despite more than 270,000 people signing an online petition against the measure. LGBT rights campaigners… Read more »

Anti-gay Russian activists sue Madonna for $10 million

St Petersburg, Russia (Reuters) – A group of Russian anti-gay activists sued American pop star Madonna for $10 million on Friday, saying she had insulted their feelings when she spoke out for gay rights at a concert in St Petersburg last week. Performing in black lingerie with the words “No Fear” scrawled on her back,… Read more »

Appeal against century-long ban on gay pride in Moscow is refused

Nikolay Alexeyev, founder of Moscow Gay Pride, has had his appeal against the century-long ban on the parade rejected by Moscow City Court. Mr Alexeyev filed an appeal against the June ban – which will prevent the city’s LGBT community from holding anything that resembles a gay pride march, rally or celebration for the next… Read more »

Madonna challenges St. Petersburg gay pride ban during tour stop

( — At her MDNA tour stop in St. Petersburg, Russia, on August 9th, Madonna challenged the city’s gay pride ban by giving away pink wristbands and speaking out at her show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. St. Petersburg prohibits the “propagation of homosexuality” and “promotion of gay lifestyles,” and authorities had warned Americans of… Read more »

Facebook Faces Russian Backlash Over Gay Marriage Icons

Facebook’s recently-launched relationships status icons identifying gay and lesbian users who are married have prompted a backlash against the social networking site in Russia. Facebook added the new married icons to Timeline, Facebook’s alternative profile which allows users to highlight photos, posts and life events chronologically. One icon includes two brides, the other two grooms.… Read more »

Russian Gay Activists Arrested In St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Russia — Russian police have broken up attempts to hold two gay rights rallies in St. Petersburg, which this spring adopted a law against spreading “homosexual propaganda.” Three rally organizers were arrested Saturday at a park in Russia’s second city, and five others were detained at a later rally attempt near the landmark… Read more »

Nikolai Alexeyev Arrested In Attempted Moscow Gay Pride Parade

Nikolai Alexeyev was among the roughly dozen activists arrested Sunday attempting to hold a Gay Pride parade in downtown Moscow. The administration of Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin had rejected the activists’ application to hold a Gay Pride event in the city for the seventh year in a row. Organizer Alexeyev said the rally would be… Read more »

IDAHO in St. Petersburg Celebrated Despite Attacks

Today St. Petersburg LGBT community commemorated International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia by holding an officially authorized mass rally. Over 300 people gathered in Petrovsky park in St. Petersburg. However, not all of those present came to support the ideas of  tolerance and non-violence to LGBT. About 100-150 members of nationalist, soccer-fan, and aggressive clerical… Read more »

World marks IDAHO with courage and pride

Activists defy anti-gay laws in Iran and Russia to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia Activists in Iran, one of the most homophobic countries in the world, braved persecution today (17 May) by publicly unfurling a rainbow flag to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). Campaigners in the Muslim state’s… Read more »

Russian Gay activist fined for propaganda

A Prominent Russian gay rights activist has been convicted of spreading “gay propaganda” among minors in the first such ruling in Russia’s modern history. Nikolai Alexeyev told the Associated Press that a city court in St Petersburg fined him 5000 rubles ($A166) for breaching the law, which was controversially introduced by MPs in Russia’s second-largest… Read more »

Siberia passes anti-gay propaganda bill

Deputies intend to push legislation to a federal level Russia’s third-largest city Novosibirsk is the latest to join in the criminalization of ‘gay propaganda’. Deputies in Moscow have come forward saying they intend to push the initiative to a federal level. The law prohibits the promotion of gay, bisexual and transgender activity among minors. Regional… Read more »

Russians Facing Tidal Wave of Proposed Anti-Gay Laws

Just a few months ago Sasha Semanova and her fellow activists thought they had turned the corner in their fight for gay rights in Russia, but now they are facing an avalanche of proposed laws that they believe would give authorities legal backing to persecute them for their sexual orientation. “We had a feeling that… Read more »

Russian gay teen sprung from rehab after activist ‘siege’

Family tried to exorcize gay teenager in Moscow after he came out to them on his 16th birthday A gay teenager in Russia who was put into a drug rehab center after coming out to his father has been released following a ‘seige’ by activists. Ivan Kharchenko spent 12 days in Moscow’s Marshak facility for… Read more »

Teenager put in drug rehab for being gay

A 16-year-old boy from Moscow has been medicated against his will at a drug rehab clinic – for being gay. The measure was the idea of the boy’s father, who hoped that the clinic would change his son’s mind – or least force him into changing his mind. Ivan decided to break the news to… Read more »

Man cleared of gay propaganda charge in Russia

Judge cites lack of evidence in charges against straight attorney Sergey Kondrashov Sergey Kondrashov is a straight attorney who was arrested for holding up a gay rights banner in Saint Petersburg, Russia, two weeks ago. He was charged with the promotion and propaganda of homosexuality under a new law that officially prevents the ‘propaganda of… Read more »

Russia rejects gay rights in G8 statement

Russia has formally distanced itself from endorsing LGBT rights, even going so far as refusing to recognise such rights, in a joint statement released by G8 foreign ministers. The statement, which affirmed the fundamental rights to which people were entitled everywhere,  came after a meeting of the ministers in Washington on Thursday. The chair of… Read more »

Activists in St Petersburg arrested for protesting against ‘gay propaganda’ ban

Police detained two men in St. Petersburg yesterday for protesting against the new law banning “gay propaganda”. As a result, the men are likely to become the first to be convicted under said law. The two unnamed men, who are reportedly aged 28 and 31, held up placards stating: “Being gay is normal” while stood… Read more »

St Petersburg ‘gay propaganda’ law could become nationwide Russian policy

Earlier this month, the governor of St Petersburg signed into law a bill making it an offence to “promote” gay or transgender personal identities in the city. Now, lawmakers in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk have proposed that Russia introduces the legislation nationwide. The bill recommends imposing a fine of up to 5,000 roubles (approximately… Read more »

St Petersburg scene ‘vibrant’ despite anti-gay law

St Petersburg’s gay clubs still vibrant in spite of new homophobic ‘propaganda’ law but there are fears for the future St Petersburg’s gay nightlife is still vibrant despite laws banning the ‘promotion’ of LGBT lifestyles to minors. That’s according to a story by the St Petersburg Times today (28 March), a leading English-language newspaper, which… Read more »

Author of St. Petersburg’s Anti-Gay Law Will Attend Madonna Concert, Prosecute If Necessary

The man behind St. Petersburg, Russia’s gay “propaganda” bill is threatening Madonna over her plans to speak out against the law when she comes to the city for a concert, ABC News reports. MilonovThe bill’s author, city assemblyman Vitaly Milanov, says he wants Madonna charged under the new law if she speaks out against it… Read more »

Madonna Threatened With Fine If She Violates St. Petersburg Anti-Gay Law

Madonna could face a fine of 5,000 rubles if she defies St. Petersburg’s recently enacted gay propaganda law when she performs in the Russian city this summer, an official has warned. Earlier this week, Madonna stated that she would defy the ban. “I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community… Read more »

Russians find asylum in New York amid gay bashing, harsh laws back home

Brooklyn filmmaker Alexander Kargaltsev fled after clash at Moscow pride rally After military cops turned batons and a Taser gun on him at a Moscow gay pride rally, Alexander Kargaltsev decided to get out of Russia. “They left us lying in blood in the street,” he said. The clash punctuated a series of attacks —… Read more »

Russian Orthodox Church: Ban homosexuality ‘propaganda’ among minors

The powerful Russian Orthodox Church wants the Duma to follow regional governments that have banned ‘homosexual propaganda aimed at minors.’ St. Petersburg enacted such a law last week. A controversial new law enacted in St. Petersburg and three other Russian regions, aimed at banning “homosexual propaganda aimed at minors,” has members of Russia’s besieged gay… Read more »

St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko Signs ‘Gay Propaganda’ Bill

St. Petersburg City Governor Georgy Poltavchenko has signed a bill which outlaws “gay propaganda,” the city announced on Sunday. Poltavchenko signed the bill into law on Wednesday, March 7 and it will take effect 10 days after being officially published, Interfax reported. The law criminalizes “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality and… Read more »

Anti-Gay Law Stirs Fears in Russia

Moscow — St. Petersburg’s legislature passed a law on Wednesday aimed at eliminating what its backers called “propaganda” of homosexuality among minors, prompting fears among gay rights groups of an impending crackdown on their activities as other cities vowed to look into adopting similar measures. The law, which follows similar legislation passed elsewhere recently, appears… Read more »

St. Petersburg Assembly Approves ‘Gay Propaganda’ Bill

St. Petersburg’s Legislative Assembly on Wednesday approved a bill which seeks to outlaw “gay propaganda” in the city. If signed into law by St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko, the bill would criminalize “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors.” Offenders face a fine of up to $16,700 under the… Read more »

St. Petersburg bans gay propaganda and promises to punish Rammstein

As St. Petersburg city legislature approved the bill banning the promotion of homosexuality and pedophilia, its initiator promised that when the bill comes to force he will personally seek to have the German rock group Rammstein penalized. The bill was approved at its third reading on Wednesday by 29 votes to five with one abstention.… Read more »

The European Parliament strongly condemns Russia’s LGBT censorship laws

Today the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the upcoming presidential election in Russia, where it clearly denounces Russian laws which forbid the public mention of homosexuality or gender identity to minors. European Parliament logo Presented by five political groups, the resolution recalls that Russia is subject to several international human rights agreements, including the… Read more »

European Parliament denounces Russian ‘gay propaganda’ laws

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the upcoming presidential election in Russia today clearly denouncing the regional laws which ban ‘gay propaganda’ around minors. The St Petersburg city legislature approved the ‘gay propaganda’ bill 31 to 6 in a delayed second reading last week and reportedly increased fines for those convicted under it tenfold.… Read more »

Gay activists gather for anti-fascist march with pink triangles

Leaders’ Association of the Rainbow “counting on that gays and lesbians come out to anti-fascist rally in Moscow on 19 January 2012. It was organized for the second year in a row speaks committee “January 19”. This year’s day in January will be held for three years after the murder in Moscow of lawyer Stanislav… Read more »

Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in health care, education, employment and social security in the russian federation

Table of Contents Executive Summary ………………………………………………………………………………….. 3 Key Terms ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4 General prohibition of discrimination – art. 2, para. 2, of the ICESCR …………………. 5 Right to work – art. 6 of the ICESCR ……………………………………………………………… 9 Right to social security – art. 9 of the ICESCR ……………………………………………….. 11 Protection of the family, motherhood and childhood… Read more »

Update on LGBT issues in Russia

It’s been a busy month.  The fine folks at the Russian LGBT-network have put together a handy guide to existing and proposed laws banning homosexual “propaganda” in front of minors, a scary bit of legislative homophobia that could make any public statement of same-sex attraction a punishable act.  The guide is useful and comprehensive; unfortunately… Read more »

Russia’s Gay Revolution, As Seen by An American Abroad

For an American living in Russia, many things are funny. The laughter never stops, really. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m actually only here to collect amusing stories that I can tell at cocktail parties to impress girls. I like to think of it as an investment for the future. Among these delights are watching straight… Read more »

250,000 sign petition against St Petersburg “gay propaganda” law

Nearly a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling on world leaders to hold Russia to account for a draft law in St Petersburg which threatens to silence its gay community. The draft law would punish the promotion of LGBT lifestyles in public alongside paedophilia in Russia’s second largest city. The US… Read more »

Catherine Ashton and MEPs receive petition on freedom of speech in Russia

Today the High Representative of the European Union Catherine Ashton and Members of the European Parliament received a petition with almost 250,000 signatures, urging them to support the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Russia. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Presidents of the LGBT… Read more »

Gay Rally in Moscow is Broken Up by Opponents

Translated from Russian At an opposition rally in Moscow did not give gays and lesbians to speak, seized their slogans and flag The Nationalists refused to listen to and homophobic members of the LGBT community at the rally and tried to beat up gay people were in the crowd. At an opposition rally against the… Read more »

Putin Plays Homophobia Card

Draconian anti-gay laws menace nascent Russian queer movement on election eve In the run-up to the Russian parliamentary elections held this past weekend –– in which the country’s authoritarian strongman, Vladimir Putin, and his United Russia Party suffered large losses –– the Putin forces made crass appeals to homophobia by introducing a spate of anti-gay… Read more »

Update: St Petersberg Passes Anti-Gay Law

Russia’s second city has passed a law banning so-called ‘gay propoganda’. Update: The law passed second reading but lawmakers have delayed the third reading until 30 November, according to a video statement by Polina Savchenko. The law, which has been rushed through the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, prohibits so-called propaganda of ‘sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and… Read more »

Gay Russia News & Reports 2011 Sep-Dec

1 At the Heart of Moscow Gay Pride: A Video Report Exclusive 9/11 2 Moscow photo exhibition dedicated to the experience of coming out 9/11 3 Study: In Ukraine Tens of Thousands of Teens Engage in Gay Sex 9/11 4 Gay Rights Festival to Start in St. Pete 9/11 5 International Queer Culture Festival 2010… Read more »