Russia’s ban on the ‘LGBT movement’
On November 30, the Russian Supreme Court outlawed an organization that doesn’t exist: the so-called “international LGBT movement.” The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Justice Ministry, which claimed the “international LGBT movement’s” activities showed signs of “extremism” and incited “social and religious discord.”
The new ban won’t officially come into force until January 10, 2024, but its chilling effect was almost immediate. The day after the ruling, Russian police reportedly raided multiple nightclubs that were hosting events for LGBTQ+ people. One of St. Petersburg’s oldest gay clubs has announced its closure, as has at least one LGBTQ+ rights organization. The mapping service 2GIS instructed employees to create a “registry” of LGBTQ+ establishments.
According to the Russian authorities, this human rights crackdown is necessary to protect Russia’s “traditional values” from outside threats. But the truth is that this type of conservative nationalism didn’t originate in Russia at all. To learn where it actually came from and what it means for LGBTQ+ life in Russia, Meduza senior news editor Sam Breazeale spoke to historian Dr. Dan Healey, sociologist Dr. Alexander Kondakov, and political scientist Dr. Leandra Bias.
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