Memorandum for the Venice Commission on the Russian/Ukrainian laws limiting propaganda of homosexuality

Memorandum prepared by the Russian and Ukrainian NGOs working for the protection of the genuine human rights. natural family and public morals is submitted to the European Commission for Democracy through Law in view it preparing an opinion on the Russian and Ukrainian laws limiting propaganda of homosexuality. The Memorandum is produced and co-signed by the FamilyPolicy.RU Group, the Family and Demography Foundation, the “For Family Rights” NGO (Russia) and the All-Ukrainian Public Organization “The Parents’ Committee of Ukraine” (Ukraine).

This Memorandum deals primarily with the issue of the compatibility of laws on prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality to minors adopted in different regions of the Russian Federation and bills currently considered by Russian and Ukrainian parliaments with the norms of international human rights law. It demonstrates that the laws/bills under consideration are fully compatible with international human rights law provisions.

The Memorandum shows that these laws/bills are pursuing legitimate aims (protecting the physical and psychological well-being of children, protecting the family “in the traditional sense”, as part of maintaining the public order (ordre public) and protecting the public morals), free from legal uncertainty, and proportionate to said aims. This analysis takes into account interpretations given to the laws in question by superior courts of the Russian Federation (the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court) in their judgements.

The Memorandum also expresses concern as regards judgements made by ECtHR in a number of cases. Its authors argue that in some of its judgements ECtHR has disregarded the need to protect the social morals, as well as the rights and interests of children. Moreover, the Court unreasonably regarded recent European trends and its own case-law as constituting a binding “European consensus”, thus undermining the sovereignty of ECHR signatories, with some of its judgements being explicitly ideological in their nature. This may lead ECtHR to passing untenable and ultra vires decisions, which poses a grave threat to the authority, effectiveness, and sustainability or the European human rights framework.

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