Russian police raid LGBTIQA+ venues follow legal change

Police in Moscow have reportedly staged raids on several LGBTIQA+ venues following a significant legal change late last week.

On Friday the Supreme Court declared that the “International LGBT public movement” was an extremist organisation and banned its activities across the country.

The move was promoted by a petition from the justice ministry, even though there is no actual organisation known to operate under that name. The ruling has been explained as encapsulating all LGBTIQA+ rights advocacy.

Vitaly Milonov, an MP from the ruling party, United Russia, said the ban on LGBT groups was “not about sexual minorities or the private life of individuals”.

“It’s more about the political agenda proclaimed by this LGBT international movement,” he told Reuter’s reporter Steve Rosenberg.

“They have their own tasks, their own goals. They act as a political force, a political structure and the goals of this structure contravene the Russian Constitution.”

Milonov has a long history of voicing anti-LGBTIQA+ sentiments.

The move is the latest in a series of crackdowns on directed at the LGBTIQA+ communities under the leadership of Russian President Vladmir Putin. In 2013 a law was introduced that banned the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors.

In 2022 the law was expanded to include all age groups in Russia, making any mention of LGBTIQA+ people illegal in film, television, books, or advertisements.

Earlier this year a South Korean pop band discovered that a rainbow had been edited out of their music video under the new laws. It wasn;t a Pride rainbow, just a regular rainbow.

Just hours after the new laws came into effect several venues in Moscow were reportedly raided by police. Attendees were held by police for a short time and their passports were reportedly photographed. Attendees have reported that police told then the raids were related to drugs.

OIP Staff

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