Russia Adds LGBT Movement To List Of Extremist & Terrorist Organizations

Russia Adds LGBT Movement To List Of Extremist & Terrorist Organizations

By Spy Uganda Correspondent

Russia has added what it calls the LGBT movement to a list of extremist and terrorist organization, state media said on Friday.

The move was in line with a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court last November that LGBT activists should be designated as extremists, a move that representatives of gay and transgender people said they feared would lead to arrests and prosecutions.

The list is maintained by an agency called Rosfinmonitoring that has powers to freeze the bank accounts of the more than 14,000 people and entities designated as extremists and terrorists. They range from Al Qaeda to U.S. tech giant Meta and associates of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

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The new listing refers to the “international LGBT social movement and its structural units”, state news agency RIA said.

As part of a shift under President Vladimir Putin towards what he portrays as family values that contrast with decadent Western attitudes, Russia has tightened restrictions over the past decade on expressions of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Among other steps, it has passed laws outlawing the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relations and banned legal or medical changes of gender.

Russian authorities have increasingly clamped down on civil liberties in the country following the start of Moscow’s war in Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia banned what it called “gay propaganda” among adults in 2022, which outlawed the expression of “non-traditional sexual relations” in public and in the media. In 2013, it was banned among minors.

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The same year, Russia also tightened restrictions on what it calls “foreign agents,” making it easier for the state to crack down on NGOs and websites receiving any kind of support from outside the country. 

Last year, Russia banned gender-affirming surgery, with Duma chairman Vyacheslav Volodin calling gender reassignment “a path to degeneration.”

Independent news outlets such as Novaya Gazeta and Meduza have been shut down by authorities or driven into exile since the start of the crackdown.

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