Russia’s Supreme Court has declared the LGTBQ movement an extremist organization. But it is not a decision that has come as a surprise to anyone. In recent years, the LGTBQ community has already been subjected to repression by the authorities and the government.
In 2013, a law restricting the promotion of homosexuality among minors was passed. And in 2020, the Russian Constitution was amended to state that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. This left LGBTQ people living in fear of what would happen to them or whether the pressure exerted by the authorities would go further.
The declaration of LGTBQ as an extremist group already made people afraid. And finally, what everyone feared has happened. Days after the election of the Supreme Court, there have been raids on gay clubs in Moscow. Raids that are a persecution against the group.
However, the real concern being felt right now is, whether the same could happen for the rest of Europe. With the growing rise of far-right parties across Europe, it could happen. In some countries, such as Spain, it has already happened. The president of the country’s capital, Madrid, cut the trans law and the LGTBIphobia law, two laws that were created to defend and protect transgender people.
Therefore, many people who belong to the collective are under attack. After what it took them to get to where they had arrived, they have seen that in many European countries, the ultra-right is winning the elections, and they see their collective and their laws directly at risk.
Álvaro, a member of the LGTBQ community, talks about his vision of what is happening.
Could you introduce yourself, please?
Yes, I am Álvaro from Spain and I’m an active member of LGBTQ movement.
Have you followed the recent news coming from Russia about the LGTBQ movement?
Yes, and I’m deeply concerned. This type of things happening in a big and important country like Russia is so wrong. We the people can’t allow these things to happen and organizations like the UN should do something about it.
Do you or your community fear this to happen in other countries, not only in Russia?
Sadly, yes. We are witnessing how far-right extremists access to the power in more and more countries through Europe and this can easily lead to our freedom being attacked. We’ve fought a lot for our rights to be recognized and we can’t accept this.
Have you already noticed or suffered any change of this type in your country?
Yes. In Madrid the President of the region has already begun to cut our rights and her plan is to keep doing that. We as a movement been talking and warning about this type of acts since day one, but society does not seem to listen to us. It is a real and current problem, although sometimes it seems that it belongs more to another century or that it does not really happen and it is us exaggerating. It’s time to take action and stop the rise of these extremists parties and their ideas.
Text: Estela González Martínez
Photo: Alexei Kouprianov, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons