Irish health minister to discuss Russia’s anti-gay laws during Moscow trip

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Ireland’s Junior Health Minister Alex White is to bring up Russia’s anti-gay law in a trip to Moscow taking place this week.

In a breakfast meeting hosted by White on Monday, he is to meet with civil rights groups and NGOs, with whom human rights issues would be discussed, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed.

Russia has been heavily criticised by the international community as President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law last June banning the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors.

White said that the law was “likely to result in the further stigmatisation and, indeed, criminalisation of LGBT young people”.

He went on to note that Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has already “raised concerns over the Russian legislation at a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over lunch at the December EU Foreign Affairs Council.”

“Ireland has made LGBTI rights a human rights priority and is firmly committed to combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity,” he continued.

The trip part of the Promote Ireland, programme, will see White visit Moscow from 14 to 18 March.