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HRC Releases Report as Russia’s Anti-Gay Law Turns One

Friday Jun 27, 2014
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While global advances in marriage equality over the past year accentuate gay pride celebrations from London to Sydney to Salt Lake City, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released a new report detailing the disturbing trends of harassment, investigations, arrests, and acts of violence against LGBT Russians in the wake of the country’s gay propaganda law that was passed on June 29, 2013.

"Witch hunts, arrests, poisonous gas attacks, and murders. Not only do these terms evoke powerful memories of brutal regimes that fill the pages of history books, they also represent the very real dangers that LGBT people face each and every day in Vladimir Putin’s Russia," said Ty Cobb, HRC Foundation’s Global Engagement Director. "The evidence is clear: state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia in Russia poses a direct threat to the safety and welfare of LGBT Russians, and that threat is growing."

The HRC Foundations report, which is available here, documents many of the publicly known incidents of discrimination, persecution and violence against LGBT Russians. From public beatings by vigilantes, to online witch hunts to find and fire teachers who support LGBT equality, to an investigation of a 14-year-old girl who allegedly broke the propaganda law by coming out to her classmates, the incidents the report documents are wide-ranging.

On June 29, 2013, after a unanimous vote in the Russian Duma, President Vladmir Putin signed the draconian law banning all forms of "gay propaganda." The law which was quickly condemned by the international community, fueled the already anti-LGBT sentiment that has plagued the eastern european nation in recent years.

"The consequences of this law for all Russian society are difficult to overestimate," said Maria Kozlovskaya, Program Manager for the advocacy groupRussian LGBT Network. "Our public polls suggest that the level of violence against LGBT people has increased significantly, and that members of the community feel vulnerable and targeted."

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