Russia’s human rights ombudsman warns against consequences of bill banning ‘gay propaganda’

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Interfax – June 11, 2013) Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin said that he feared “unwise” application of a bill banning propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations, which the Russian State Duma could pass in the the second and third readings on Tuesday.

“The main issue will be the administration of the law. Cruel and unwise administration could lead to human casualties and human tragedies,” Lukin told Interfax on Tuesday. “People, who draft and try to promote such bills, probably guess but ignore the fact that creating a halo of victimhood is one of the most efficient forms of advertisement.”

“The term homosexuality [used in the first reading of the relevant bill] will not be used, we will use the term non-traditional sexual relations,” head of the State Duma’s committee on family, women’s and children’s affairs, Yelena Mizulina, told reporters.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch international organization (HRW) warns the Russian authorities against passing a bill which virtually bans releasing information related to non-traditional sexual relations.

“Russia is trying very hard to make discrimination look respectable by calling it ‘tradition,’ but whatever term is used in the bill, it remains discrimination and a violation of the basic human rights of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual] people,” Graeme Reid, LGBT rights program director at Human Rights Watch, was quoted as saying.

“To try to exclude LGBT people as ‘non-traditional’ is to try and make them less than human. It is cynical, and it is dangerous,” Reid said.