MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia's law banning gay propaganda among minors does not contradict international practice, the Russian Justice Ministry said after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled it as discriminatory on Tuesday.
"The Russian Ministry of Justice… proceeds from the fact that the provisions of a number of regional laws prohibiting the propagation of unconventional sexual relations among minors did not contradict international practice," the ministry said.
In expressing disagreement with the ECHR's conclusions, the ministry said that the laws "were aimed exclusively at protecting the morals and health of children."
The legislation against LGBT propaganda did not stipulate any measures aimed at banning homosexuality or at encouraging for its official condemnation, it did not contain any characteristics of discrimination and did not allow for the excessive actions by the public authorities, the Justice Ministry added.
"The Constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees the equality of the human rights and freedoms despite of various circumstances and forbids any forms of civil rights limitations on the basis of social set-up, ethnicity, nationality, language or religion. In this relation, the challenged legislative norms cannot be considered as inadequately limiting the freedom of speech," the statement added.
The ECHR issued a ruling following a complaint from LGBT activists. In 2009-2012, the complaint applicants were fined over administrative offenses after the organization of the protests against the gay propaganda law which came into force in 2013.
The court concluded that there had been a violation of Article 10 on freedom of expression of the European Convention on Human Rights, and a breach of Article 14 on prohibition of discrimination in conjunction with Article 10 of the Convention.