The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, has denounced the passage of a
constitutional amendment in Russia that defines marriage as a
Russian voters approved more than 200
constitutional amendments during a recent referendum that lasted
seven days. Voters also approved an amendment that paves the way for
Russian President Vladimir Putin to remain in power until 2036.
More than two-thirds of voters approved
In a statement, HRC President Alphonso
David said that Russia is “tripling down” on its attacks against
the LGBT community.
“Russia is tripling down on its
attacks on the basic human rights and dignity of LGBTQ people by
adding constitutional prohibitions against marriage equality,”
David said. “Putin and his administration used propaganda brochures
leading up to the election promising a return to ‘traditional
family values,’ using marriage between loving couples as a wedge to
push through his nefarious agenda. It is shameful, manipulative and
malicious. Any leader who would resort to scapegoating LGBTQ people
for political gain is a threat to the human rights of all.”
In 2013, Russia approved a law that
prohibits “gay propaganda.” Putin has said that the law is needed
to protect children. The law prohibits positive portrayals of the
LGBT community and has been used to silence LGBT activists.
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The Russian LGBTQ Network also
responded to the vote.
“The main purpose of adopting [a]
series of amendments to the constitution is to keep in power [the]
current government and Russian President,” the group said. “We
consider other constitutional changes artificial to gain people's