Russia: Oppose LGBT+ Community Criminalization

Russia made up an ‘international LGBT+ extremist movement’ — only to criminalize the entire queer community in the country. Sign to support the Russian LGBT+ community.

Update – 30 November 2023: Today, the Russian Supreme Court has ruled the "international public LGBT+ movement" as extremist. The secretive nature of the court proceedings leaves many details unclear, including the exact arguments presented by the Ministry of Justice and the specific individuals or groups that will be affected by this ruling. Your support is crucial in these trying times.


In yet another troubling move against human rights, the Russian Ministry of Justice has initiated proceedings to declare the "international public LGBT movement" as extremist. This means they want to ban all LGBT+ activities in Russia and label them as dangerous. It's a scary situation that got even worse after Russia already made rules against informing on LGBT+ lives in public, online, or through media. 

In the midst of the full-scale invasion in Ukraine, just a day after an unprecedented verdict of 7 years in prison camp for a peaceful protester Aleksandra Skochilenko, pro-regime propagandists make LGBT+ people public enemies. In support of the Ministry’s actions, within one day several federal TV-channels showed segments smearing the LGBT+ community as well as divulging sensitive information about queer activists. The government appears intent on making an example out of all LGBT+ people in Russia to deepen the atmosphere of fear for the rest of the public, and muzzle critics of the regime. 

The impact of this lawsuit is deeply distressing. If successful, LGBT+ organizations and activists in Russia could be deemed extremist, subjecting them to severe penalties, including imprisonment. This extends to a ban on working with, volunteering for, or being associated with any LGBT+ initiative. Additionally, the penalties for disseminating information about LGBT+ issues and displaying symbols associated with the queer community, such as the rainbow flag, may be tightened, leading to administrative records and fines, and even criminal liability for those with previous records related to such symbols.

The consequences of this extremist label go beyond legal restrictions. It would leave any LGBT+ activist in Russia vulnerable to criminal prosecution and persecution. Such a move not only discriminates against LGBT+ individuals but also targets organizations that strive to protect their rights and well-being.

The urgency of this matter cannot be overstated. The Supreme Court of Russia is set to examine the motion on November 30. Without immediate international attention and action, the rights and safety of LGBT+ individuals in Russia will be further jeopardized.

Your signature is crucial. By signing this petition, you're joining a global outcry against this unjust proposal. You're standing in solidarity with the LGBT+ community in Russia and affirming that human rights should not be subject to governmental oppression. 

This campaign is run by Sphere Foundation and has been joined by the Moscow community center for LGBT+ initiatives, and Coming Out.

0people have signed
Goal: 70,000

To Ministries of Foreign Affairs of EU member states; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk; EU commissioners: Ursula von der Leyen, Helena Dalli, Jutta Urpilainen; European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, Janez Lenarčič:

Due to the recent drastic backslide of the LGBT+ rights situation in Russia, the Ministry of Justice’s motion should be seen as a further step in the same direction towards pushing LGBT+ people to remain silent and stop all the attempts to defend their rights. By targeting the LGBT+ rights initiatives, the Russia authorities are targeting the entire community and their needs in legal, psychological and other forms of  support in order to be able to have decent lives. This means that the Russian Federation is a country with an exceptionally high risk for any LGBT+ person, especially for those who keep working with the topic on the ground.

Over the recent years the Russian Federation has repeatedly demonstrated its escalating disregard for international condamnations when it comes to human rights issues. In this context we do not see such measures as effective in order to protect the lives and safety of Russian multinational LGBT+ community members.

Therefore, we urge states that are signatories of international human rights conventions, both in Europe and worldwide, to ensure a wider possibility for Russian LGBT+ people and LGBT+ rights defenders to obtain visas or other travel documents. A possibility to leave the country will become a lifeline for those denied basic human rights, and a powerful instrument for those who keep on the fight against discrimination and are remaining in Russia in a very high-risk environment.

0people have signed
Goal: 70,000