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Russia ordered to pay activists €50k each after anti-LGBT law ruled “discriminatory”

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In their ruling, the judges said the policy was “discriminatory” and “encouraged homophobia”.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled against Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law after three gay activists appealed their case to the body.

The activists were initially fined by Russian courts for appearing outside of public places, holdings signs reading “Homosexuality is normal.”

The courts ordered Russia to pay the three activists a combined total of €50,000 (£43,940).

Six out of the seven judges in Strasburg condemned the policy as “discriminatory, reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia.”

They also said that there was “no scientific basis” that children could be “enticed” into homosexuality, and that there was no evidence that homosexuality threatened “traditional families”.

The only judge not to rule against it was the one from Russia, who said: “A positive image of homosexuality adversely affects the development of children and puts them at risk of sexual violence.”

The law in question came into force in Russia in 2013, and banned the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” to anyone under the age of 18.

Veronica Lapina, the spokesperson for the Russian LGBT Network told Gay Star News: “This is just ruling. This informs everything we have been talking about for years. Europe has finally made its voice known of what is happening in Russia in terms of protecting people’s sexual identity.”

However, she doubted that Russia would change the law, as she said that Russia’s Constitutional Court could throw out European rulings. Although, she did add that: “We could finally appeal this discriminatory law.”

Yesterday, a Russian religious leader claimed that shaving your beard could you make gay, and Vladimir Putin said that it was his duty to block same-sex marriage to “uphold traditional and family values”.

Meanwhile, in Chechnya, there’s an ongoing gay purge, in which gay men are rounded up, and tortured in concentration camps  – it’s been reported that, so far, 26 people have been killed.

Words Matt Moore

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