Russian gay rights group deemed ‘foreign agent’ for ‘violating straight rights’

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An LGBT rights organisation based in Russia has been deemed a “foreign agent” by a St Petersburg court.

The label “foreign agent” implies that a group carries out work on behalf of foreign countries, and restricts the work they can do and messages communicated.

This week Coming Out, a leading LGBT rights organisation Coming Out, was told by the court that it must register as a foreign agent.

In a statement after the ruling, Coming Out argued that its defence was not considered in the case, and that it had been fighting against such a ruling for over a year.

The statement also said that the judge ruled that the group violates the rights of “persons with traditional sexual orientation,” and that the state was obliged to limit leaflets such as those given out by Coming Out.

Four other groups were also found as foreign agents this week.

Last October, following a lengthy legal battle, the Side by Side (Bok o Bok), LGBT film festival, won its appeal against fines under the then recently introduced foreign agent law.