After a failed attempt by the Russian government to liquidate the Russian LGBT Network and its parent organization in February, a Russian court has effectively shut down what is the country’s largest LGBTQ rights organization.
ON thursday a court in St. Petersburg issued the decision in support of Russia’s Justice Ministry. A representative of the ministry had claimed the Charitable Sphere Foundation (parent organization of LGBT Network) illegally “carried out political activities using foreign property” under the guise of a charity and said its activities are aimed at changing legislation, including the Russian Constitution. In its lawsuit, the Russian government also accused the group of spreading “LGBT views” and engaging in activities that go against “traditional values.”
Igor Kochetkov, a former director of the Russian LGBT Network (and founder of it’s parent organization), slammed the court’s decision and the government’s claim that the charity did not comply with “basic traditional family values established in the Constitution.”
”It should be clear that the ministry and the court made this decision not on legal, but on ideological basis,” he wrote on social media, according to an automated Facebook translation. “No Russian law prohibits the activity of organizations that ‘do not correspond’ to any values. There is simply no such basis in the law for the liquidation of NGOs. In this sense, the decision of the court is iconic — mandatory state ideology has returned. It is now official.”