LGBT travelers warned as Russia bans any pro-gay expression

Posted by Troy Petenbrink
July 4, 2013 5:40 PM |

Following passage last month of a law banning "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations," Russia's President Vladimir Putin signed a bill yesterday that prohibits adoption by same-sex foreign couples whose homeland recognizes their union as marriage.

An article by the travel news service eTurboNew, published on Tuesday prior to the approval of the gay adoption ban, warns gay travelers to be careful when visiting Russia.  According to the article, any gay person in Russia runs the risk of arrest for doing "anything considered pro-gay."

According to the U.S. Department of State, "discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is widespread in Russia, as harassment, threats, and acts of violence have been targeted at LGBT individuals." This information is part of the the State Department's newly expanded effort to share safety and security concerns with U.S. LGBT citizens traveling and residing abroad.

Russia is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics. As such, there have been some calls for a boycott of the games. In a June 12 Gay Star News article, a spokesperson for the International Olympics Committee states, "The IOC would like to reiterate our long commitment to non-discrimination against those taking part in the Olympic Games."

Gay Star News also reported that the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association of Europe appealed to international and European organizations to condemn the law and to consider "meaningful actions against Russia."

The State Department encourages all U.S. LGBT citizens traveling abroad to enroll in its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Please Leave a Comment