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Russia Proposes ‘Extremist’ Label for LGBT, Feminist, Child-Free Movements

LGBT activists have been persecuted, outlawed and marginalized in Russia. Dmitri Lovetsky / AP / TASS

Russia’s LGBT, radical feminist and child-free groups should be recognized as “extremist,” the chairman of an influential government commission said Wednesday.

“LGBT ideology, radical feminism and child-free movements should be recognized as extremism — an extremist ideology,” the state-run TASS news agency cited Andrei Tsyganov, chairman of a commission for the protection of children at the Roskomnadzor communications regulator, as saying Wednesday.

The proposed ban would help protect Russian children and adolescents from the influence of destructive content on social networks and the internet, Tsyganov said.

The call came on the same day Russia’s Justice Ministry slapped the Ivanovo Center for Gender Studies, a research and education non-profit, with the “foreign agent” label.

President Vladimir Putin’s socially conservative government has launched a widespread crackdown on liberal and progressive movements over the last decade in what authorities claim is an effort to reverse Russia’s population decline and preserve traditional values.

Russia’s sweeping 2013 gay propaganda ban has drawn widespread crticism from human rights organizations in Russia and abroad. 

Earlier this year, the ruling United Russia party outlined proposals to ban what it called propaganda of polyamory and bisexuality. Organizations supporting victims of domestic violence have also been labeled “foreign agents.” 

The country has previously used the “extremist” designation in Russia to outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses denomination as well as organizations linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

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