The European Parliament building in Strasbourg.

The European Parliament has denounced Russian laws that forbid the public mention of homosexuality or gender identity to minors.

In a resolution, the European Parliament noted that Russia is subject to several international human rights agreements, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Parliament said that it “strongly condemns the adoption by the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg of a law against propaganda on sexual orientation”, and “equally condemns similar laws adopted in the Ryazan, Arkhangelsk and Kostroma regions”.

St. Petersburg’s ‘The Promotion of Homosexuality, Lesbianism, and Transgenderism to Minors’ bill, which is on the verge of becoming law, will outlaw any Pride events or any “public activities promoting sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgender identity” in the city.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak has publicly backed the bill and said that he supports the idea of banning the “disgusting activity” nationally.

The European Parliament resolution called “on all Russian authorities to stop restricting freedom of expression in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity”.

The Parliament concluded by also calling on Catherine Ashton, the Vice-President of the European Commission, “to convey the European Union’s opposition to these laws”.

Earlier Michael Cashman, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said that these laws’ “starting point is that homosexuality is wrong, but what is wrong is the promotion of intolerance and discrimination!”.

Sophie in ‘t Veld, MEP and Vice-president of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “Tchaikovsky and Constantinovich must be rolling over in their graves. Such laws are simply unacceptable.”

“Iif Russia isn’t serious about respecting the European Convention on Human Rights, it should simply call the bluff and leave the Council of Europe altogether. And more than statements, these grave human rights abuses must have consequences for the EU-Russia relationship,” she said.

It is possible that Russian authorities will simply ignore the condemnation. The city of Moscow has repeatedly refused to allow gay Pride events to take place in the city, despite being found guilty by the European Court of Human Rights for violating the right to freedom of assembly.

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