Russian Supreme Court upholds St. Petersburg ‘gay propaganda’ ban
MOSCOW, October 4, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Russian Supreme Court has upheld the law passed by the municipal government of St. Petersburg in 2011 to ban public “gay pride” events. The court ruled against an appeal by homosexual activists who had complained that the ban was discriminatory.
The complaint, claiming that the new law was too broad, had been previously rejected by the St. Petersburg court.
The law, which forbids “the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors,” came into force this April. It provides for fines of up to 5,000 rubles (EUR 125) for individuals, and up to 500,000 rubles (EUR 12,500) for groups promoting homosexuality as normal.
In another decision last month, the Supreme Court ruled upholding a law passed by the Arkhangelsk region to ban on “gay propaganda,” but added in the ruling that Gay Pride parades and other political demonstrations by homosexualist activists are not propaganda and are legal under the region’s new law.
The homosexual political movement is not on the whole popular in Eastern Europe, with polls regularly showing that there is little public support for changes to laws allowing registered homosexual civil partnerships or similar issues.
For the second year, police in Belgrade have forbidden homosexuals to hold a Gay Pride march, saying they fear violence.
In 2010 police used tear gas to counter protesters who threw Molotov cocktails and stones to disrupt the march. The move comes after Serbia’s Orthodox Church requested that the “parade of shame” be shut down. Parade organizers have been allowed to hold an event indoors that does not include a public event.
The government of Ukraine this week passed a bill that would impose prison sentences of up to five years for “promotion of homosexuality,” calling it a threat to national security. When the bill was tabled this summer it enraged western homosexul groups and their allies among various left-leaning human rights groups like Amnesty International.
Reuters quotes a note accompanying the bill that said, “Certain media outlets, going against the interests of society and the state, are promoting a tolerant attitude towards things like sexual relations between people of the same sex.” Examples of pro-homosexual propaganda included the U.S. film Brokeback Mountain.
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“The spread of homosexuality constitutes a threat to national security as it leads to an HIV/AIDS epidemic and also destroys the institute of family and can trigger a demographic crisis,” the note said.
In the October 2 vote, 289 deputies voted in favor, none voted against, and one abstained, while 60 were absent.
Parliament is set for a second vote on October 16. President Viktor Yanukovych has yet to confirm whether he will sign the bill should it pass the next vote.
Reuters also noted that an opinion poll showed that 78 percent of the public “viewed homosexuality negatively” and said that support for the bill will be a factor in upcoming elections.