November 27, 2018 / 6:46 PM / 15 days ago

European court rules Russia discriminated against gay people

STRASBOURG (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Russia discriminated against gay people by banning their rallies, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday, eight years after a judgment on the issue that led to no change.

The court ruled in 2010 that a Moscow ban on gay pride marches violated the right to freedom of assembly, to an effective remedy, and the right not to face discrimination.

Its latest ruling referenced the 2010 judgment, which said the main reason for the ban was that authorities disapproved of events they saw as promoting homosexuality.

In 2017, the court reached a similar verdict in 18 cases of banned rallies, according to Reuters.

The latest ruling went further by reiterating the “binding force” of its judgments, the execution of which is supervised by the Europe Committee of Ministers, the Council of Europe’s political and executive body.

“The nature of the violations ... and the extent of the recurring problem at issue, required sustained and long-term efforts in the adoption of general measures, particularly if Russia was to overcome issues relating to freedom of assembly and prohibition of discrimination,” the court said.

In 2013 Russia banned the spreading of “propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, which became known as the “gay propaganda” law.

Russia was ranked Europe’s second least LGBT-friendly nation in 2016 by ILGA-Europe, a network of European LGBT groups.

Homosexuality was a criminal offence in Russia until 1993 and classed as a mental illness until 1999.

Reporting by Gilbert Reihac of Reuters, writing by Rachel Savage and Zoe Tabary, editing by Yves Clarisse of Reuters and Claire Cozens.

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