EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has condemned Russian legislation that would criminalise the "propaganda" of homosexuality to minors. "The implementation of this law could reinforce discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and intersex people as well as all those who support them and their choices," said Ashton on Wednesday.
German and EU foreign ministers slam Russia on gay rights
Germany’s openly gay foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, has told the Russian ambassador that his country’s draft bill banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ contravenes human rights and could harm the country's ties with Europe.
Catherine Ashton, the high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs also voiced concerns and critique, today (30 January).
Westerwelle said that as a friend of Russia and defender of good relations, he was personally disappointed by the development: ‘Part of democracy, is the protection of minorities’, he was reported as saying.
The bill has to pass two more readings in the Russia Duma, and if adopted it would not only make gay pride parades a prosecutable offense, but even something as simple as waving the rainbow flag could be punishable. The bill would make promotion of public events and dissemination of information on LGBT issues to minors illegal. Human rights groups are also concerned that the law may ban information, education and counselling regarding HIV/AIDS for gay men.