Russia’s gay propaganda law ‘endangers children’, says report

Human Rights Watch releases report that says Russia's gay propaganda law harms endangers LGBT+ youth

Russia’s “gay propaganda” law is directly harming and endangering LGBT+ children and young people, according to a new report.

The report – which is called “No Support: Russia’s ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law Imperils LGBT Youth” – was released today by Human Rights Watch, and runs to 92 pages.

The human rights group found that the law, which was implemented in 2013, exacerbated hostility towards LGBT+ people in Russia.

They also found that the law has prevented LGBT+ people from accessing inclusive education and support services, and that this has had a detrimental impact on children and young people.

Human Rights Watch interviewed LGBT+ young people in Russia to gain an understanding of the impact the law is having on Russian youth.

LGBT+ life in Russia: Stigma, harassment and violence

The interviews pointed to an intensification of stigma, harassment and violence against LGBT+ people since the law was passed in 2013.

Human Rights Watch also found that the law was preventing mental health professionals from offering the necessary support to LGBT+ youth.

One transgender person, who is 18 years old, told Human Rights Watch that LGBT+ people in Russia now fear getting beaten on the street.

“We know that most people believe the mass media, and the stories there teach them that we are horrible creatures, so we are in danger all the time.”

Another young person – an 18 year old university student – said the law was akin to “cutting off air” from the LGBT+ community.

Meanwhile, a 14 year old lesbian told Human Rights Watch that the law gives homophobes free rein, and said that LGBT+ people “are afraid to organise prides and demonstrations.”

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