Constitutional Court dismisses complaint against St. Petersburg gay propaganda law
ST. PETERSBURG, December 4 (RAPSI) – The Russian Constitutional Court has dismissed a complaint filed by prominent LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseyev against the St. Petersburg law prohibiting the propaganda of homosexuality among minors and the propaganda of paedophilia. It ruled that the law does not contradict the Russian Constitution.
The law setting fines for "gay propaganda," came into force in St. Petersburg on March 30, 2012. Any citizen who breaches the law in St. Petersburg can be fined for an administrative violation. The law was sharply criticized by the LGBT community and rights activists in Russia and abroad. However, it was developed into a federal law and passed by the State Duma on June 30, 2013.
In May 2012, a magistrates' court fined Alekseyev for holding a poster quoting famous Soviet actress Faina Ranevskaya as saying: “Homosexuality is not a perversion, unlike field hockey or ice ballet. In September, the St. Petersburg Statutory Court dismissed a request filed by Alekseyev to examine whether the law banning the promotion of homosexuality among minors corresponds to the St. Petersburg city charter.
Alekseyev also filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court, saying that the ban is based on prejudice and permits the discrimination of people of non-heterosexual orientation.
The Constitutional Court explained that according to the Constitution, maternity, childhood and the family are protected by the state. Since the exercise of one's civil rights and freedoms must not infringe on other people's rights and freedoms, legislators are duty bound to “take measures to protect children from information, propaganda and campaigns that can harm their health and moral and spiritual development.” The court concluded that the anti-gay law was precisely such a protective measure.
The Constitutional Court ruled that Alekseyev was guilty of campaigning.The court has dismissed Alekseyev’s accusation that the St. Petersburg legislature discriminates against people of non-heterosexual orientation, saying that the ban concerns all people without exception.