Human Rights Watch: Russia’s gay “propaganda” ban hurting LGBT+ youth

A new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report examining the effects of Russia’s 2018 law banning gay “propaganda” condemns the ban as political homophobia. The law is ostensibly “aimed at protecting children,” banning the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” among minors. In practice, the ban is understood to criminalize LGBT+ education of any kind for children.

The report included interviews with LGBT+ youth and mental health professionals, and concluded strongly that the law has had the “complete opposite effect of what the proponents of the law suggested it would have.”

In addition to increased harassment and violence against LGBT+ youth, the ban has left healthcare providers unable to adequately care for their young patients.

“Teenagers often wait for me to ask a direct and precise question about his or her sexual orientation or gender identity, but the law prevents me from doing that,” one psychologist noted.

HRW is calling for new legislation protecting LGBT+ rights for adults and children alike.

Read more at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.