HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Original Article: bit.ly/1uU64WL
In June 2013 Russia passed a law banning the distribution of information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) relationships to children. The law effectively legalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation. Its passage coincided with a ratcheting up of homophobic rhetoric in state media and an increase in homophobic violence around the country.
All over Russia there has been an increase in attacks by vigilante groups and individuals against LGBT people in the past two years. There has also been an increase in attacks on LGBT activists, and anti-gay groups have used the 2013 law to justify mounting campaigns of harassment and intimidation of LGBT teachers and other school or college staff to get them fired from their jobs.
Although Russian law enforcement agencies have the tools to prosecute homophobic violence, there appears to be no will to do so and no policy or instructions from the leadership to take homophobic violence seriously. Aside from several isolated investigations, the authorities have done little to hold assailants accountable.
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