Gay propaganda ban 'not discrimination': Russia

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 27, 2013 03:30 hrs

Moscow, Feb 27 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The ban on "gay propaganda" among minors, currently under review in Russian legislature, does not infringe on human rights - unlike "gay propaganda" itself, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

"We're not discriminating against anyone, we just don't want reverse discrimination, when one group of citizens gets the right to aggressively impose their values, unsupported by most of the population, especially on children," Lavrov said here Tuesday.

He spoke after his Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans urged the lower chamber of Russian parliament -- the State Duma, to drop the controversial bill on gay propaganda because it may violate international agreements on human rights.

"We don't have a single global or pan-European obligation to allow gay propaganda," Lavrov replied, speaking at a press conference after a meeting with Timmermans.

Russia had fulfilled all of its humanitarian obligations regarding same-sex relations when it decriminalised male homosexual contact in 1993, the Russian diplomat said.

Instead of campaigning for Russian gays, Europe should deal with flagrant rights violations on its own turf, most notably the presence of "non-citizens" in Estonia and Latvia who were denied citizenship after these countries proclaimed independence from the Soviet Union, Lavrov added.

The Duma voted 388 to one in support of the "gay propaganda" ban in the first of three required readings in late January.

-- IANS/RIA Novosti


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