Russia's law banning gay propaganda among minors does not contradict global practice, the Russian Justice Ministry said after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled it as discriminatory on Tuesday.
In the first court battle for those who contest the "gay propaganda" law, the court was in favour of the activists who said that the law violated the rights to freedom of expression and prohibition of discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The law in question came into force in Russian Federation in 2013, and banned the promotion of "non-traditional relationships" to anyone under the age of 18. The law has been condemned as an outright ban on any public discussions of homosexuality while authorities were defending it, citing the interests of children.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.
The only judge not to rule against it was the one from Russian Federation, who said: "A positive image of homosexuality adversely affects the development of children and puts them at risk of sexual violence".More news: Public Protector's call to change the Constitution is unlawful: SARB
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The court in Strasbourg is responsible for the European Convention on Human Rights, which applies to all 47 members of the Council of Europe, including Russian Federation.
It ordered Russian Federation to pay 8,000 euros ($8,900) in damages to Bayev, 15,000 euros to Kiselev and 20,000 euros to Alexeyev.
The court said such laws "reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia".
Another law makes "public actions expressing clear disrespect for society and committed to the goal of offending religious feelings of the faithful" punishable with jail terms of up to one year and fines of up to 300,000 rubles. In the most recent case, Russia's Constitutional Court said in January that the ECHR ruling ordering payment of almost 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion) in compensation to shareholders of the defunct Yukos oil company can not be enforced.