Russia will pay a price for a series of anti-LGBTI actions thanks to a ruling at the European Court of Human Rights.
From 2006-2011 Russia refused to register three LGBTI organizations. Those included Rainbow House, the Movement for Marriage Equality, and the Sochi Pride House.
Authorities refused to register the groups, arguing they would ‘destroy the moral values of society’ or ‘undermine [Russia’s] sovereignty and territorial integrity…by decreasing its population’.
While homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, the country introduced a ‘gay propaganda‘ law in 2013. It prevents the positive representation of LGBTI issue on any kind of media platform. The government argued it stopped the ‘promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors’.
The European Court of Human Rights had previously condemned the law. But this week fined the Russian government for refusing to register the groups.
The court ordered the government to pay representatives of each organization a combined total of US$40,400 (€36,000).
It ruled Russia’s actions were discriminatory and violated freedom of association.
‘Citizens should be able to form a legal entity in order to act collectively in a field of mutual interest… [it is] one of the most important aspects of the right to freedom of association, without which that right would be deprived of any meaning,’ the ruling read.
The court ruling went on: ‘The refusals to register the applicant organisations on the ground that they promoted LGBT rights cannot be said to be reasonably or objectively justified.’
‘[The decisions] touched upon the very core of the applicant organisations and affected the essence of the right to freedom of association.’