The European Court of Human Rights (ECRH) ruled in favor a suit brought by LGBT activist who protested Russia’s “gay propaganda” ban according to a story in BuzzFeed News.
The Court found that Russia had violated international agreements protecting free speech and prohibiting sexual discrimination during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
In advance of the games, Russia shut down LGBT rights protests at the Olympic Games and issued fines and imprisoned some activists who refused to follow the Russian law.
Above all, by adopting such laws, the Court found that the authorities had reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia, which was incompatible with the values – of equality, pluralism, and tolerance – of a democratic society.
Russia has contended the exposure to ‘inappropriate material’ could ‘convert’ children to homosexuality.
The only Russian judge on the panel dissented from the ruling and argued that “positive image of homosexuality adversely affects the development of children and puts them at risk of sexual violence.”
In practical terms, the ruling likely will probably have no impact in Russia, as the government is considered unlikely to allow a European Court to interfere in Russian internal affairs.