SOS RUSSIA: ITALIAN LGBTI ASSOCIATIONS LAUNCH NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO SUPPORT LGBTI HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IN RUSSIA.
Associazione Radicale Certi Diritti Press Release
Rome, 26 July 2013
Associazione Radicale Certi Diritti, Agedo, Arcigay, Famiglie Arcobaleno, Equality Italia, Arcilesbica and Rete Genitori Rainbow have launched a campaign entitled “SOS Russia” in support of associations fighting for the human rights of LGBTI persons in the large Eurasian country.
The situation in Russia is particularly dramatic: LGBTI activists are constantly subject to violence by police during demonstrations and hate crimes have reached a level of serious concern, while the state continues to pass laws that make it impossible for LGBTI persons to live their lives. A few weeks ago Putin promulgated a national law that sanctions the airing of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” in front of minors, making it impossible to utter the words "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual," "transgender" and "intersex" in any public setting. The latest victims of this law were four Dutch directors who were shooting a film about a love story between two persons of the same sex.
But the work of the associations for the rights of LGBTI people is made impossible by another law requiring enrollment in a register for all associations that receive funding from non-Russian entities. Failure to register the receipt of funds from “foreign agents” is, in the Russian context, the equivalent of treason, and carries the heaviest of penalties for violators.
The associations that defend the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and intersex persons in Russia refuse to enroll in the register as it would signify their agreement with those who maintain that homosexuality is a degeneration imported to Russia from the West. Instead, Russian LGBTI associations are fighting to protect the rights of Russian citizens and help their State to adhere to its Federal Constitution, which requires respect for human rights of all.
This situation has resulted in various LGBTI associations having to pay heavy fines (up to € 25,000) and having to interrupt all the projects done in collaboration with non-Russian entities, consequently having to repay the sums advanced.
To help the Russian LGBTI associations survive and continue their valuable work, Associazione Radicale Certi Diritti, Agedo, Arcigay, Famiglie Arcobaleno, Equality Italia, Arcilesbica and Rete Genitori Rainbow have decided to kick off a national campaign of solidarity with the goal of raising at least € 10,000 by the end of August.
To make a donation just follow this link: www.sosrussia.it. All Italian associations who cherish the defense of human rights in the world are invited to join the initiative by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.