Russia’s Supreme Court has ruled that the “international LGBT public movement” is an extremist organization and banned its activities in the country, according to the Justice Ministry.
The ministry said in a statement on Friday that it had filed a lawsuit against the group, which it claimed was inciting social and religious discord and undermining the constitutional order.
The court’s decision effectively criminalizes any expression or advocacy of LGBTQ+ rights in Russia, where homophobia and discrimination are widespread.
The ruling follows a series of laws enacted by President Vladimir Putin’s government in recent years, aimed at promoting “traditional values” and suppressing dissent.
In 2013, Russia passed a law that banned the dissemination of “LGBT propaganda” to minors, which was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights as discriminatory and violating the freedom of expression.
Earlier this year, Putin signed another law that extended the ban on “LGBT propaganda” to adults, making it illegal to promote or praise LGBTQ+ relationships, publicly express non-heterosexual orientations or suggest that they are “normal”.
The law also imposed harsher penalties for anyone promoting “non-traditional sexual relations and/or preferences”, as well as pedophilia and gender transition.