United Nations human rights office urges Russia and Moldova to repeal anti-gay laws

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The human rights office of the United Nations has spoken out to condemn Russia’s law, passed in June, which bans homosexual “propaganda”, and has urged for Russia, as well as Moldova, to repeal such laws, and for other countries to scrap the potential adoption of identical legislation.

President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community. Other laws banning the adoption of Russian children by foreign same-sex couples, and one which enables organisations receiving funding from abroad to be fined as “foreign agents”, were also passed.

Some local areas in the Republic of Moldova also adopted similar measures, usually modelled on the Russian law, which was regional, before it was adopted as a federal measure. The Ukraine is also considering the same law.

Human Rights advisor Claude Cahn, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, described the laws as “inherently discriminatory in both intent and effect”.

“Such measures form the basis for standing and regular harassment, and even arbitrary detention, and help create a climate of fear for anyone working on advancing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” said Cahn.

The full statement from the office push for a full, “comprehensive, non-discriminatory sexuality education”, which would seek to educate about STIs, including HIV and Aids, and to tackle homophobia.

As the law passed in Russia in February, a group of Special Rappoteurs, independent experts, stressed the emergence of increased levels of sanctions and violence against the LGBT community, and said that the bill would single out, and restrict the activities of LGBT rights advocates

A court in the second largest city in Moldova in March struck down a local ban on what authorities had referred to as “homosexual propaganda”.