Vicious attacks on gay rights protesters in Russia in recent days underscores the need for the Russian Duma to reject a draft law on “propaganda for homosexuality.” Russian authorities should thoroughly investigate the violence and new threats and hold accountable those responsible.
On January 25, 2013, the Duma, the lower chamber of parliament, voted in the first reading in favor of draft provisions that would impose fines on individuals, government officials, and organizations that engage in “promoting” homosexuality to anyone under 18.
“The draft law contributes to an atmosphere that makes violence against LGBT protesters seem acceptable,” said Anna Kirey, a researcher with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) program at Human Rights Watch. “If adopted, the bill would violate the free expression rights of all Russians and discriminate against and further stigmatize Russia’s LGBT community.”
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