Sinn Fein spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Deputy Sean Crowe, has signed an open letter to the Russian government criticizing the Kremlin for their law banning any positive representation of LGBT people in Russian media.
The letter reads, in part, that Crowe, “along with other concerned Irish citizens and politicians, have signed an open letter strongly urging the Russian authorities to end its persecution of LGBT people. It also calls on the authorities to focus on upholding the right of LGBT citizens, and their supporters, to freedom of expression, assembly, and protection from homophobic violence.”
Russia’s government is starting to face pressure over their draconian law due to the upcoming Olympics and the number of LGBT Olympians who will be attending. Unfortunately, the Russian government has been using anti-LGBT hatred as a means of gaining power through the scapegoating of LGBT people.
The letter also notes that saying that “The Russian government has tried to justify this draconian legislation by stating that it will protect minors. This is completely misguided and based on the incorrect premise that someone’s sexuality can be taught.”
It goes on to say “This legislation is extremely broad and effectively prohibits the distribution of any information which deals with LGBT rights in a positive or even neutral light. It is a clear breach of a person’s right to freely express their sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as the freedom to seek, receive and impart information on issues related to sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The letter concludes by saying “This new law is incompatible with rulings made by the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee and international human rights standards. I am calling on the Russian authorities to review this oppressive legislation and to uphold the human rights of all their citizens and especially those of vulnerable or minority groups, like LGBT citizens.”
The law is highly popular among Russians, who are seeing the scapegoating as a patriotic and religious duty. Part of this has to do with the ongoing ignorance among Russians regarding homosexuality. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law back in June despite international condemnation.