Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Russian Constitutional Court Upholds Ban on Promoting Homosexuality To Minors, Interpreting It Narrowly

"...The Russian Constitutional Court has found that the contested provision does not contradict the Constitution. It also gave a constitutional law interpretation, which shows all law enforcers that a broad interpretation of the ban is unacceptable and it is compulsory for everyone, including courts. Such an approach is comparable to the approach used by the Russian Constitutional Court to recognize the unconstitutionality of some part of some provision," Constitutional Court Judge Nikolay Bondar said, commenting on the court decision.

Bondar reiterated that the Russian Constitutional Court's decision on the debated article is based on the fact that it does not envision interference in the sphere of individual autonomy, including people's sexual self-determination.

"Secondly, the court ruled that this provision is not aimed at banning or officially condemning non-traditional sexual relations. Thirdly, this article does not prevent impartial public debate of the legal status of sexual minorities, including by holding public events according to the procedures established by law. However, minors should not be involved in the relevant events, no matter whether it's rallies or debates, and the disseminated information should not be targeted at them," Bondar said.

"We not only fully recognize, but also consistently observe the main acts of international law dealing with personal rights and freedoms, including people's sexual self-determination. As to the practices used by some European countries, which, among other things, involve the deformation of traditional socio-cultural values in the sphere of family and marriage, they cannot be an example to us. Every country has a sovereign right to decide on these issues in its own way. That, naturally, is also true for Russia, and we also have the absolute right to make such decisions in accordance with our Constitution, and the moral, ethical and socio-cultural values of our society," Bondar said.

Read the rest here.

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