St. Petersburg Repeals ’Homosexual Propaganda’ Law
Lawmakers in St. Petersburg, Russia, repealed the city’s highly controversial "gay propaganda" law this week, Gay Star News reports.
The lawmakers decided to repeal the local measure since there is now a federal ban that prohibits all of Russia from spreading "homosexual propaganda."
St. Petersburg was one of the first major cities in Russia to approve the anti-gay law in 2012. It also banned Gay Pride for a century.
Vitaly Milonov, the St. Petersburg bill’s co-sponsor, said he will continue to fight against "gay propaganda" and hopes to criminalize homosexual acts. Nikolai Alekseev, a lawyer and gay rights activist, said that Milonov was "scared" the European Court of Human Rights will overturn the measure, however.
The high court is scheduled to rule on a number of cases from Russia after LGBT activists were charged and fined under regional "gay propaganda" bans. GSN reports that if the activists win their case they believe the win will be "extremely powerful" in their favor.
"Milonov is obviously scared and decided to not wait for the humiliating verdict of the European Court of Human Rights," said Alekseev, who is the only person to be charged under the law since it was put into effect two years ago.
The controversial measure sparked international outrage, especially in the months leading to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which were held in Sochi, Russia. Gay activists thought the measure, which bans public LGBT support and even same-sex handholding, would impact athletes, especially out athletes.