Russia’s Supreme Court upheld a controversial regional ban on “gay propaganda,” but said it only covers the direct promotion of homosexual relations among minors, LGBT activists said on Thursday.
Pickets in support of and public discussions on gay rights remain legal despite the ban, passed by the Arkhangelsk Region's legislature last fall, the court said.
Informing minors about homosexual relations is also allowed as long as the information remains neutral in tone, the court said in a ruling passed in mid-August but not publicized until this week.
The Arkhangelsk ban imposes fines of up to 50,000 rubles ($1,600) for “gay propaganda,” without elaborating on the term. The ban was since adopted by several other Russian regions, including St. Petersburg, and proposed for nationwide application.
The LGBT community in Russia is rarely permitted to hold public events. Moscow authorities have been banning gay pride rallies in the capital since 2006, and last summer the City Hall prohibited all such events for the next 100 years.