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Russia Will Oppose Words 'Sexual Orientation' in International Law

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov at the 65th session of the Economic Commission for Europe, April 2013.

Russia plans to oppose use of the term "sexual orientation" in international law, contending that the phrase is nebulous and could even be taken to refer to pedophilia, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said.

"The term 'sexual orientation' does not have an international legal definition and permits the most varied interpretations. Lately, for example, the idea is being actively promoted that pedophilia is also a sexual orientation. For us this sounds blasphemous," Gatilov said in an interview published Monday on the Foreign Ministry's website.

"In general we are going to resist the inclusion of references to sexual orientation in international legal documents, including resolutions by agencies of the United Nations," Gatilov said.

The interviewer had asked the diplomat for his opinion on the United States' stated aim of advancing the subject of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation at the UN Human Rights Council.

Gatilov also criticized media, politicians and activists for raising issues of human rights in order to further unrelated political goals, such as "stirring sentiments of protest and forming public opinion in a certain manner."

He added that he thinks these "unacceptable" political actions discredit important human rights work.

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