Russia Files Lawsuit to Outlaw LGBTQ+ Movement as Extremist

LGBTQ+ community faces further persecution in Russia as the Justice Ministry seeks to label the international movement as extremist.

The Russian Justice Ministry has taken a significant step in its ongoing crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights by filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to outlaw the LGBTQ+ “international public movement” as extremist. Citing signs of extremist nature and the incitement of social and religious discord, the ministry aims to further marginalize the already beleaguered LGBTQ+ community in the increasingly conservative country. This move represents the latest blow in a decade-long campaign against gay rights under President Vladimir Putin, who has prioritized “traditional family values” in his rule.

A Decade of LGBTQ+ Rights Erosion

The crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights in Russia began a decade ago and has steadily eroded the community’s rights. In 2013, the Kremlin introduced the “gay propaganda” law, which banned any non-critical public depiction of “nontraditional sexual relations” among minors. This legislation marked the first significant restriction on LGBTQ+ rights in the country. In 2020, Putin further solidified his stance by pushing through a constitutional reform that outlawed same-sex marriage, extending his rule by two more terms in the process.

Escalation in Rhetoric and Legislation

In 2022, following the invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin intensified its rhetoric on protecting “traditional values” from the perceived “degrading” influence of the West. This rhetoric served as a means to legitimize the war in Ukraine and further marginalize LGBTQ+ individuals. The authorities passed a law that year banning the propaganda of “nontraditional sexual relations” among adults, effectively prohibiting any public endorsement of LGBTQ+ people.

Transgender Rights and Family Code Amendments

This year, Russia passed a law prohibiting gender transitioning procedures and gender-affirming care for transgender individuals. The legislation forbids any medical interventions aimed at changing a person’s sex and restricts changing one’s gender in official documents and public records. Additionally, the Family Code was amended to list gender change as a reason for annulling a marriage and to exclude those who have changed gender from becoming foster or adoptive parents.

Denial of Discrimination and International Response

Russian authorities have consistently denied accusations of discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. Deputy Justice Minister Andrei Loginov recently claimed that “the rights of LGBT people in Russia are protected” legally while presenting a report on human rights in Russia to the U.N. Human Rights Council. However, the ongoing persecution and restrictive legislation tell a different story. The international community has condemned Russia’s actions, with rights advocates calling for action to protect LGBTQ+ individuals in the country.


Russia’s lawsuit to outlaw the LGBTQ+ movement as extremist is a significant development in the ongoing crackdown on gay rights in the country. If successful, this move could further marginalize and persecute LGBTQ+ individuals, leaving them vulnerable to discrimination and social exclusion. The erosion of LGBTQ+ rights in Russia over the past decade, coupled with the recent legislation targeting transgender individuals, highlights the repressive environment faced by the community. As the international community continues to monitor the situation, it is crucial to support and advocate for the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals in Russia and around the world.






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