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Irish govt criticises Russia's 'gay propaganda' law

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that legislation discrimination against the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people “are not acceptable”.

Police interrupt a gay rights protest in St Petersburg in June 2011.
Police interrupt a gay rights protest in St Petersburg in June 2011.
Image: AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky/PA Image

THE GOVERNMENT has voiced its concerns over new legislation proposed in Russia, saying it could lead to further stigmatisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people.

The legislation, which has passed the first stage of St Petersburg’s assembly, includes the imposition of fines of over €1,000 on “public activities promoting sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgender identity”.

Russian media has reported that the legislation could be introduced across the country following its adoption in St Petersburg.

Over 240,000 people have signed an online petition against the legislation.

Speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said that legislation which discriminates against or curtails the rights of “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not acceptable”.

“Ireland believes that consensual, same-sex relationships should not be criminalised,” he said. “We support measures to ensure that the right to freedom of expression and association can be enjoyed effectively by all people.”

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Gilmore added that an official from the Department of Foreign Affairs has been in touch with the Russia Embassy to convey the government’s concerns over the proposed law.

He also said that the EU plans to raise the issue with Russia at an EU-Russia human rights meeting this week.

The proposed law was recently criticised by the US which said it was “deeply concerned” about the move, saying that “gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights”.

Read: Vladimir Putin tells West not to interfere in Russian politics >

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