The Russian Supreme Court has banned the LGBTQ movement in the country for sowing social and religious discord.
The ruling was handed by Judge Oleg Nefedov who declared that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer protesters are guilty of causing discord, classifying them as extremists.
The decision, handed down in Moscow, has raised concerns that the ruling will lead to the arrest and imprisonment of gay individuals.
With this landmark ruling, LGBTQ activism has effectively been outlawed, adding to the series of measures taken by Russian authorities to curtail the rights of the gay, lesbian, and transgender community in recent years.
The justice ministry initiated the legal request earlier this month with the aim of shutting down organizations advocating for increased rights for the LGBTQ community. The ministry argued that it had discovered the presence of an LGBTQ “social movement” in Russia, engaging in activities deemed “extremist” such as inciting social and religious discord.
The Supreme Court delayed reaching its decision, taking just over two hours to issue the ruling after the session commenced at 10 a.m. local time.