Three LGBT activists in Russia were arrested for holding non-violent demonstrations in front of schools and libraries. The activists held signs that communicated support for LGBT youth. They were found guilty under a law that prohibited public activities aimed at the promotion of homosexuality of minors. The activists appealed the decisions to the European Court of Human Rights, alleging that their rights to freedom of expression and non-discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated.
Russia’s law prohibiting “propaganda of homosexuality among minors” puts LGBT youth at risk of experiencing discrimination, harassment, and bullying. The law also discourages adults from supporting LGBT youth, leaving them even more vulnerable to the effects of stigma and prejudice.
The testimony provides research refuting the government’s claim that the “propaganda of homosexuality among minors” law has legitimate aims in that it protects the health of children. The testimony demonstrates that rather than protecting children, it puts them at increased risk of stigma, prejudice, and discrimination which, in turn, adversely affect their health and wellbeing.