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No Let Up on the Onslaught Against the LGBT Community by Russian Politicians.

Russian politicians are continuing their onslaught against the LGBT community by expanding the introduction of criminalising legislation around the country that prohibits the promotion of so called "sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism to minors." The implementation of the law prevents any organisation or an individual to promote what is described as propaganda of homosexuality. This initiative threatens a wide range of activities, such as demonstrations, speeches and events on LGBT human rights as well as provision of information about or to LGBT people within the public space.

The law has been in place in Ryazan since 2006 and most recently has been introduced in Archangelsk, September, 2011 and Kostroma, February, 2012. In Saint Petersburg, 8 February, 2012 amendments to the proposed law, with the exception of the liberal party Yabloko, were met with little resistance by politicians at the Legislative Assembly. The third and final reading will take place next week and it is all but imminent that the law will be passed. Any individual or organization deemed to be involved in the: purposeful activity and uncontrolled dissemination of public information relating to homosexuality will incur hefty fines: 5,000 rubles (125 Euros) for an individual, 50,000 rubles (1,250 Euros) for someone in a public position and 500,000 rubles (12,500 Euros) for any legal entity.

This development would be a major blow for the LGBT movement in Russia as the city is home to Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival, LGBT Organization Coming Out and LGBT Network who have all been at the forefront of fighting LGBT rights in Russia.

This legislation contributes directly to spread of hatred and increase of xenophobia in society. It is a direct attack on the members of the LGBT community in Russia and violates the fundamental human rights to freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression which are enshrined both in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, as well as European Convention of Human Rights.

Please join us in calling for the abolishment of this discriminatory provision and act now for the protection of the LGBT community in Russia.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

 Sign ALL OUT.org  international petition here http://allout.org/en/actions/russia_silenced

 Call your foreign affairs office, and tell your country's official to speak out here http://allout.org/russia_call

 Write to the Russian authorities calling on them to set put a stop to this legislation and urge them to act effectively to protect sexual minorities and to guarantee all their rights as Russian citizens. More information here campaign@bok-o-bok.ru

 Express your solidarity with the LGBT community in Russia by sending a statement of support either as an individual or from your organization to campaign@bok-o-bok.ru  Your letters will be received by the community of LGBT activists in Russia and published. 

 Spread the word! Tell your press contacts, friends and colleagues by forwarding this appeal to them on

FOR MORE INFOMATION OR QUESTIONS campaign@bok-o-bok.ru or  manny@bok-o-bok.ru   

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

As part of the continuing campaign Side by Side has produced the following social advertisement: 

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