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Australian Greens move on Russian anti-gay law, but major parties reject it

Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has today spoken out against a bill before the St Petersburg Legislature in Russia that will criminalise public discussion of LGBTI issues.

"The bill before the St Petersburg parliament represents an appalling infringement on human rights for LGBTI people," the Greens' spokesperson for sexual orientation and gender identity said.

"The bill is being presented by the ruling party in Russia. This is a party that has some history when it comes to the persecution of LGBTI people.

"If it passes, this bill will further exclude LGBTI people from public life. It will make it impossible for them to protest or peacefully assemble to stand up for their rights.

"As a vibrant democracy that believes in sexual diversity, Australia should be doing all that we can to lobby Russian authorities to abandon this bill. Today I moved a motion in the Senate to encourage the Government to do just that.

"The Greens are disappointed that this motion to speak up was not supported by the government or coalition parties.

Senator Hanson-Young's motion was not passed by the Senate earlier this afternoon.

Full text of the motion is as follows:

That the Senate:

(a) Notes:

i) The St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly in Russia has proposed a new law which will allow authorities to impose fines for public discussion of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) issues;

ii) The law would undermine the right to freedom of assembly and expression for LGBTI activists and community members, and has been condemned by human rights groups worldwide including Amnesty International, and

(b ) condemns the continuing discrimination in legislation against LGBTI people by a number of governments across the world.



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