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Russian Court Rules 'Gay Propaganda' Law Doesn't Violate Constitution

A photo from Moscow LGBT rally taken on June 12, 2012. Since the adoption of “gay propaganda” law, the violent attacks against LGBT people in Russia have increased.

Russia's Constitutional Court on Thursday voted to uphold a law banning the promotion of so-called gay propaganda, dismissing the appeal by three LGBT activists that the law is in breach of the country's constitution.

"The contested provisions [of the Russian legislation] are not intended to ban homosexuality as it is and cannot be viewed as curbing the rights of citizens based on their sexual orientation," news agency RAPSI quoted the court as saying.

The law, which came into force last June, had been called into question by three LGBT activists found guilty of promoting nontraditional relations to minors.

Nikolai Alexeyev, Yaroslav Yevtushenko and Dmitry Isakov argued the so-called gay propaganda law violates the right to freedom of speech guaranteed under the Russian Constitution and discriminates against homsexuals — arguments that the court dismissed.

Critics of the law have pointed to a spike in attacks on the LGBT community since the law was passed, arguing it fosters anti-homosexual discrimination.

In accordance with the law, anyone who provides information about homosexuality to minors can be fined from anywhere between 4,000 rubles ($104) for individuals to 1 million rubles ($26,000) for organizations.

The Thursday ruling comes after a court in October last year also determined the law was not in breach of the Constitution.

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