Russian Government Seeks to Further Oppress the Rights of the LGBTQIA+ Community Through Lawsuit

Russian Government Seeks to Further Oppress the Rights of the LGBTQIA+ Community Through Lawsuit
Source: Pride Flag/ Stephan Tbm via Flick


Anouk Reilly 

Human Rights and Europe Researcher, 

Global Human Rights Defence 

Russia’s justice ministry body has filed a lawsuit to outlaw what they state to be “an international LGBTQIA+ public movement” as an extremist group, with this course of action signifying further repression on Russia’s LGBTQIA+ community. In their statement, the ministry stated that within the LGBTQIA+’s community’s activities had “signs and manifestations of an extremist nature” which included the “incitement of social and religious discord”. 

The Russian supreme court is expected to consider the lawsuit towards the end of the November. Occurrences like this are not uncommon in Russia, with the government historically labelling human rights groups, opposition, and independent media to be extremist in order to suppress their activities and persecute these groups in society. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, has initiated new efforts to promote what he classes as “traditional values”, with anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric becoming central to Russia’s political sphere. 

As aforementioned, this oppression is not uncommon, with Putin signing a law banning “LGBTQIA+ propaganda” among adults at the beginning of 2023. This law criminalised any attempts to promote “non-traditional sexual relations”, be that in films, adverts, on the internet or publicly in Russia. Furthermore, medical intervention and administrative procedures that would allow people to change their gender were banned through Russian law earlier in the year. 

Human rights activists have condemned the lawsuit, with Igor Kochetkov, the head of the Russian LGBT Network, citing the lawsuit to be an attempt to “create imaginary enemies within the framework of its ideology promoting ‘traditional values’”, and condemning the government for promoting autocratic ideology.

Sources and Further Reading:

Sauer, P. (2023), “Russia files lawsuit to crack down on LGBTQ+ Community”. The Guardian. Retrieved on 18-11-2023, at: