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Russia: Arkhangelsk drops ‘gay propaganda’ measure

Application of anti-gay federal law cancels effect of repeal: activists

Arkhangelsk has dropped its "gay propaganda" law, but the federal anti-gay gag law still applies. Credit: brederoshaw.com

Arkhangelsk, one of several Russian regions and cities that introduced "gay propaganda" laws before the enactment of a similar nationwide law in June, dropped its version of the ban Nov 6, but activists have responded in a lukewarm fashion to the move.

According to BuzzFeed, the removal of the "gay propaganda" provisions is simply a bid to avoid any conflict in the application of the federal law, which bans the promotion of "nontraditional sexual relations among minors."

BuzzFeed quotes a spokesperson for a coalition of Russian LGBT groups as saying that federal legislation usually "explicitly" calls for "local authorities to bring their laws into alignment with new federal standards." Anastasia Smirnova noted, however, that that provision had not been part of the nationwide law President Vladimir Putin signed into effect in June.

The report adds that Kostroma, another city that implemented a "gay propaganda" measure, will also drop its ban soon.