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Russia's high court bans 'international LGBT public movement'

The Russian Supreme Court has ruled that what it describes as 'the international LGBT movement' is 'extremist' and, therefore, banned. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
The Russian Supreme Court has ruled that what it describes as 'the international LGBT movement' is 'extremist' and, therefore, banned. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI

Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Russia's highest court has ruled that "the international LGBT public movement," is an extremist organization and is, therefore, prohibited.

Earlier this month, the Russian Justice Ministry filed a suit asking the court to make the declaration.

The Justice Ministry said that what it describes as "the international LGBT movement," incites "social and religious discord."

The court said their ruling was to "sustain the claim by the Justice Ministry to recognize the LGBT movement as extremist."

Volker Turk, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, denounced the ruling.

Russian LGBTQ activists protest after the slaying of a gay person in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2019. On Thursday, Russia's highest court banned gay-rights demonstrations in general after justices termed such activity as "extremist." A Thursday statement from Human Rights Watch noted that "Russian authorities have long misused Russia's broad and vague anti-extremism legislation to prosecute peaceful critics." File Photo by Anatoly Maltev

"This decision exposes human rights defenders and anyone standing up for the human rights of LGBT people to being labeled as 'extremist' -- a term that has serious social and criminal ramifications in Russia," Turk said as he demanded the immediate repeal of laws targeting the LGBTQ community.

"I call on Russian authorities to repeal, immediately, laws that place improper restrictions on the work of human rights defenders or that discriminate against LGBT people," Turk said. "The law must uphold and defend the principals of equality and non-discrimination."

Human rights NGOs also denounced the ruling and said its vague language could be used to persecute dissent.

"Russian authorities have long misused Russia's broad and vague anti-extremism legislation to prosecute peaceful critics," Human Rights Watch said in a press release Thursday.