December 14, 2012

The European Parliament adopted two resolutions Thursday calling on Russia and Ukraine to abandon new planned censorship laws that would punish the positive portrayal of LGBT people. Nine regions in Russia have laws banning “gay propaganda,” that outlaw gay pride parades and stop young people from receiving positive information about being LGBT as well as from fully enjoying dance-pop music — Madonna and Lady Gaga most recently ran afoul of the laws on their respective tours in the country. Now the ruling United Russia party of President Vladimir Putin is pushing to extend this law nationally, although Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said such a law was unnecessary. Meanwhile in Ukraine, parliament is drafting a similar gay propaganda ban that would institute fines and up to five years imprisonment for breaking the law. The resolutions adopted by the EU call for Russia and Ukraine to shelve these laws and underline that the two countries must respect a recent ruling by the UN Human Rights Committee which condemned Russia for limiting freedom of speech in a discriminatory fashion.