Russia’s Constitutional Court upholds gay ‘propaganda’ law

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A Russian federal law banning gay “propaganda” has been upheld by the country’s highest court.

In a ruling released on Thursday, the Constitutional Court said the law does not breach Russia’s constitution.

According to RAPI, the court declared: “The contested provisions [of the Russian legislation] are not intended to ban homosexuality as is, and cannot be viewed as allowing to curb the rights of citizens based on their sexual orientation.

“They also do not imply a ban on any information concerning unorthodox sexual relations.”

The ruling reaffirmed a judgment made in December last year supporting the law.

LGBT rights activists Nikolai Alekseyev, Yaroslav Yevtushenko and Dmitry Isakov had contested the law, arguing it violated their right to free speech.

They had been fined 4,000 rubles (£63.94) each for violating the law.

Mr Isakov was arrested last year for staging a one-man protest in the Russian town of Kazan.

His placard read: “Being gay and loving gays is normal. Beating gays and killing gays is a crime!”

Mr Isakov’s mother and father reportedly helped authorities escort him to a car where he was taken to a police station.

It’s claimed he was assaulted by police following his arrest.

Nikolai Alekseyev, one of Russia’s most prominent LGBT rights activists, assisted Mr Isakov with legal support.

In August last year, Mr Alekseyev was subjected to a violent police raid at his home.

He became the first man to be convicted under St Petersburg’s local homophobic censorship legislation in May 2012.

A federal bill banning gay “propaganda” was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in June 2013.

It prescribes fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under the age of 18 – ranging from 4,000 roubles for an individual to 1m roubles (£20,000) for organisations.