An LGBT Advocacy Group Has Been Declared a “Foreign Agent”

June 21, 2013
Gay rights activists in Russia.

In a recent court decision “Coming Out”, a public organization advocating the rights of sexual minorities, has been declared a “foreign agent”, according to Interfax.

A magistrate for the 19th district of St. Petersburg established the fact of administrative offence and imposed a fine in the amount of 500 thousand roubles.

The defense said they would appeal. Representatives of the “Coming Out” organization insist that what they do is purely advocacy, and they are not involved in politics.

In May 2013, the prosecutors for the Central district of St. Petersburg filed a motion to consider the organizers of the LGBT movie festival “Side by Side” a “foreign agent”. On June 6 the court granted that motion and fined the organizers 500 thousand roubles.

Late in 2012 the State Duma approved the amendments to the legislation on non-profit organizations. According to the amendments the NPOs engaged in political activities and financed from abroad must register with the Ministry of Justice as “foreign agents”.