For the second year, the Sphere Foundation has been campaigning against state homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
Initially, we fought only against Article 6.21 of the Code of Administrative Offenses — punishment for “LGBT+ propaganda” among minors. During this time, a total of 122,000 people have signed our petitions.
Throughout the summer of 2022, the deputies tried to figure out how to silence all queer people in Russia, coming up with various amendments to the ban on “propaganda”.
In 2 months, we wrote to the State Duma deputies more than 15,000 appeals and received only 1,500 responses, most of which were empty words.#nbsp;
Today, on November 24, MPs approved in the third readings a total ban on mentioning LGBT+ in the media, culture and life. Now we will face a lot of problems: website blockages, book bans, regular fines etc.#nbsp;
This makes it clear to us as a team that we must continue our work, help even more and better. We won’t stop being!
— The law is discriminatory in its essence, it is quite obvious. The most disturbing element of it is that it acts as a symbol, the state seems to say: “LGBT+ people are a Western invention, the result of external interference”. Such demonization of an entire social group, legitimization of a negative attitude towards it can lead to an increase in social hostility and an increase in stigmatization of queer persons in society. The LGBT+ community should not be used as an instrument of ideological confrontation. LGBT+ people — someone’s children or parents, college girls, neighbors, friends. We just are, and there is nothing wrong about us, nothing that is deserving of being muzzled. Our voice cannot be taken away. Sphere will continue to provide assistance to LGBT+ people, campaign against legislation that violates human rights norms, and talk about the problems faced by queer people in Russia, — says the head of the Sphere team, Dilya Gafurova.