Russia has used its “gay propaganda law” to tear two teenage boys away from a same-sex couple who legally adopted their sons in 2010.
The federal law which prohibits “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships,” has previously been used to persecute LGBT+ people in the country but this is the first time where the law has been used to separate a family. In the past, it has also been used to stop Pride marches or LGBT+ rights demonstrations from taking place.
The two fathers brought their sons to a hospital in Moscow after a suspected illness. Doctors in the hospital reported the couple to federal authorities, the Investigative Committee of Russia, who went on to charge the adoption agency of “negligence” for allowing the children to be adopted by a gay man.
A report of the case said that one of the fathers “promotes unconventional relations, forming distorted ideas about family values in children, harming their health, moral and spiritual development.”
A spokesperson from LGBT+ support organisation Vykhod, Maksim Olenichev has said that there has never been a situation like this before.
The organisation is helping the couple with their legal case. The situation is worrying as it could set a legal precedent for other same-sex couples in the country. Olenichev said, “We think we need to defend this family from the actions of the state.”
“This is the next twist in that law.”
It is feared that if the couple are found guilty that their marriage will be annulled and they would be permanently separated from their children.
With LGBT+ activists being attacked, receiving numerous death threats and the recent murder of Yelena Grigoryeva, the situation for LGBT+ people and their families is precarious in Russia. This case of a family being torn apart is a further step backward.
The infamous “propaganda law” prevents positive representation of LGBT+ people and communities on any media platform. The Russian government says that it protects children from “unconventional” identities.
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