Russia watchdog labels ‘LGBT public movement’ as terrorist organization News
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Russia watchdog labels ‘LGBT public movement’ as terrorist organization

A Russian state financial watchdog labelled the “LGBT public movement” as a terrorist organization on Friday, as reported by Russian state media outlet TASS. This development comes three months after the Supreme Court of Russia ordered the LGBT+ movement to be declared as extremist.

The Federal Service for Monitoring (Rosfinmonitoring) added the LGBT+ movement to its official list of terrorist and extremist organizations published on its website, TASS reported. Rosfinmonitoring is a federal organization responsible for combatting international money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as assessing national security threats. Other organizations on their list include Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

In late 2023, the Russian Ministry of Justice filed a lawsuit accusing the LGBT+ movement of inciting social and religious discord. The Supreme Court of Russia ruled in the Ministry’s favor and declared that the LGBT+ movement was an extremist organization. This recognition effectively banned all LGBT+ activities as well as the use of the rainbow pride flag, and the court ordered that their ruling of the movement as extremist should be implemented immediately.

The ruling received widespread criticism, with Human Rights Watch describing the decision as “perverse persecution of LGBT people.” Since the ruling, multiple individuals in Russia have been prosecuted for extremist activities for their association or involvement with the LGBT+ movement. In January, a man was prosecuted for posting a rainbow flag on social media, while another was placed in detention for five days for wearing rainbow patterned earrings. 

The LGBT+ community has faced many hardships in Russia, with the Russian Constitution undergoing amendments to Article 1 of its Family Code in 2020 to state that marriage could only exist between a man and a woman. Furthermore, gender affirming care for transgender individuals in Russia was banned in July 2023.