The Supreme Court in Moscow declared LGBTQ activists should be banned from taking part in campaigning in Russia, sparking fears gay people will be rounded up and thrown in jail.
The landmark ruling yesterday effectively outlawed LGBTQ activism, in another step Russian authorities have taken in recent years against gay, lesbian and transgender rights.
The legal request was made by the justice ministry earlier this month, in a move to shut down those pushing for increased rights for the community.
In the filing, it was claimed that “signs and manifestations of an extremist nature” by an LGBTQ “social movement” had been discovered operating in Russia, including “incitement of social and religious discord”.
However, no evidence of this was submitted to the court as part of the government department’s case.
The Supreme Court took just over two hours to issue its ruling, after opening its session at 10am local time.
The proceedings took place behind closed doors and no media were inside the court during the deliberations, but reporters were allowed in to hear the decision.
In 2013, the Kremlin adopted the first legislation restricting LGBTQ rights, known as the “gay propaganda” law, banning any public endorsement of “non-traditional sexual relations” among children.
Then in 2020, constitutional reforms pushed through by President Putin to extend his rule by two more terms also included a provision to outlaw same-sex marriage.