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Russian Supreme Court declares LGBT movement an 'extremist' organization

Putin, who is a Russian Orthodox Christian, has largely supported conservative social causes during his tenure and his government maintains close ties with the church, which does not condone same-sex marriage or gender transitions.

Published: November 30, 2023 3:45pm

The Russian Supreme Court on Thursday declared the "international LGBT movement" to be an "extremist" organization, siding with the Ministry of Justice in concluding that its efforts violated Russian law.

Moscow under Russian President Vladimir Putin has pursued some of the strictest laws on LGBT activism and does not sanction same-sex marriage and has banned all gender reassignment surgeries.

In the case, the Ministry of Justice had argued that the movement violated Russian laws against the "incitement of social and religious discord," a claim with which the court agreed, The Hill reported. The decision means that virtually all advocacy for LGBT persons in Russia is now illegal.

Putin, who is a Russian Orthodox Christian, has largely supported conservative social causes during his tenure and his government maintains close ties with the church, which does not condone same-sex marriage or gender transitions.

The Russian government, in pursuing these policies, has attempted to contrast itself with the increasingly secular and liberal West on the issue. After approving the ban on gender surgeries in July, Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin stated that "[w]e are the only European country that opposes all that is happening in the States, in Europe and does everything to save families and traditional values."

Human rights groups reacted furiously to the Thursday decision, with Human Rights Watch associate Europe and Central Asia director Tanya Lokshina suggesting the move was "meant to increase the scapegoating of LGBT people to appeal to the Kremlin’s conservative supporters before the March 2024 presidential vote and to paralyze the work of rights groups countering discrimination and supporting LGBT people."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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