Lib Dem President tables motion drawing attention to ‘deplorable’ LGBT treatment in Russia

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Liberal Democrat party president, MP Tim Farron, has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) which asks that the House of Commons take note of the situation LGBT people face in Russia, following the passage of anti-gay laws.

The MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale tabled the EDM on Friday, which draws attention to the situation for LGBT people in Russia, off the back of the passage of a law in June which bans the promotion of “non-traditional” relationships to minors.

The motion reads: “That this House deplores the recent legislation passed in Russia banning the promotion of non-traditional relationships; notes that this is akin to the former Section 28 legislation in the UK; further notes that the new law appears to be part of a wider crackdown on the freedoms of the LGBT community in Russia; believes that we must listen to those Russian LGBT groups and activists who urge very strongly that boycotts in any form or nature, from sporting, like the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, to drinking vodka, are not supported by them and only increase the likelihood of harm towards LGBT Russians; and calls on the Government to work through international and diplomatic channels, like the G20, the Council of Europe and the International Olympic Committee and commercial and business interests already involved in sponsoring the 2014 Winter Olympics, alongside indigenous LGBT campaign groups based in Russia itself, to stand up for the human rights of the Russian LGBT community.”

The EDM, submitted on Friday is sponsored by fellow Lib Dem MPs Andrew George MP for St Ives and Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West.

Early Day Motions are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. However, very few are actually debated. EDMs allow MPs to draw attention to an event or cause. MPs register their support by signing individual motions.

Putin signed the controversial 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.

Following a “candid” 2am meeting in St Petersburg on Thursday night, Cameron on Friday morning tweeted that he “raised concerns about gay rights.”

As President Obama met with LGBT activists as his last official engagement during his trip to St Petersburg for the G20 summit, activists noted the significance of the fact that he met with them.