The Russian Ministry of Justice filed a lawsuit with the country’s Supreme Court on Friday to ban the “international LGBT public movement” in the regime’s latest effort against liberalizing sexual norms.

The Supreme Court of Russia will now assess the motion to label LGBTQ+ activists “extremists” that incite “religious and social discord,” in keeping with President Vladimir Putin’s socially conservative agenda.

An online statement announcing the lawsuit described the “signs and manifestations of extremist nature” present in the activities of Russia’s LGBT movement, including “incitement of social and religious discord.” The Ministry of Justice did not make it clear whether the requested ban would apply to specific groups and organizations or the LGBT community as a whole.

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The Supreme Court of Russia will decide whether to ban the “international LGBT public movement” as an extremist threat to Putin's socially conservative agenda. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
The Russian government under Vladimir Putin has cracked down on the LGBTQ+ movement. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

The Russian regime has spent the better part of a decade cracking down on the LGBT movement, which President Putin has denounced as a cultural attack from the West. In 2013, the Kremlin implemented the country’s first law against LGBT propaganda for children. Earlier this year, that law was expanded to outlaw the positive presentation of non-traditional lifestyles to Russians of all ages.

A 2020 constitutional amendment allowing Putin to retain power for two more terms also outlawed same-sex marriage. In early 2023, Russia banned sex change operations and made it illegal for transgender people to adopt children.

“Do we really want to have here, in our country, in Russia, ‘Parent No. 1, No. 2, No. 3’ instead of ‘mom’ and ‘dad?’” Putin asked during a 2022 ceremony commemorating the annexation of Ukrainian territories. “Do we really want perversions that lead to degradation and extinction to be imposed in our schools from the primary grades?”

The Supreme Court’s “extremist” label has also been used to target political dissidents, including when it was applied to politician and Putin critic Alexei Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation.

The Russian Supreme Court is scheduled to review the proposed ban on November 30.

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