Could Moscow be the next hot gay destination? Ok, that’s not likely…but a new ruling makes Russia a little more livable for LGBTQ citizens.
On Tuesday, a top European court ruled that Russia can no longer ban LGBTQ events, like Pride, which the country banned earlier this year within 24 hours of the event being announced. The decision comes in response to 51 applications filed by a group of seven Russian activists with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They claimed that Russia violated articles 11, 13, and 14 of the Convention of the court, namely discriminating and violating LGBTQ people’s “freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association with others.”
“The Court considers that in the instant case, the ban on holding LGBT public assemblies imposed by the domestic authorities did not correspond to a pressing social need and was thus not necessary in a democratic society,” the ECHR wrote in their ruling, which found the country in violation of the three articles in question “The Court also finds that the applicants suffered unjustified discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, that that discrimination was incompatible with the standards of the Convention, and that they were denied an effective domestic remedy in respect of their complaints concerning a breach of their freedom of assembly.”
The court did not award the activists the monetary compensation they asked for along with the ruling.
Russia has been a hotbed of discrimination for years. Last year, the ECHR ruled that Russian’s prohibition of “gay propaganda” was illegal on the basis that it was discriminatory. Reports also surfaced that year that in Chechnya, around 100 men were round up and abused, some of whom were killed. Many survivors of that event still have yet to see justice.