Russia: A Homophobe, Vasily Likhachev, Appointed Deputy Minister of Justice
Homophobia in Russia: Eurovision Protest 2009
An opponent of the rights of LGBT people wants to close the gap between Russian and International laws.
Sent by Nicolas Alexeyev.
A Member of the Federation Council of Russia – the Upper-Chamber of the Parliament – Vasily Likhachev, known for his sharp rejection of the civil rights of sexual minorities, was appointed Deputy Minister of Justice.
As reported Gazeta.ru on February 27, the main point in his agenda will be to close the gap between the Russian and the International laws.
But when it comes to LGBT rights the new Deputy Minister of Justice is well known for a series of homophobic remarks.
Just two days before his appointment, Mr Likhachev publicly justified the denial by the Ministry of Justice to register ‘Marriage Equality Russia’, a gay group advocating for same-sex marriage:
“The steps taken by the representatives of the gay community, contradict with the general state of morality of the Russian society because it is not our culture and our form of relations”
In 2006, Mr Likhachev called to use any way to stop the process of family rights of same-sex couple “Already in 7 countries of the European Union, homosexuals are allowed to adopt children. The number of countries where same-sex marriages are permitted continues to grow, that’s why in questions concerning gays, there shouldn’t be maximum permissiveness otherwise, we will go too far and the development of the world will go in the wrong direction”
He further defended the ban of a gay pride in Moscow, arguing that “Minority affects the interests of the majority. City authorities are absolutely right that they did not follow the interest of sexual minorities. There could not be any other discussion here”
A similar position that Mr Likhachev repeated a year later in 2007: The society should not abide by the desires of sexual minorities because homosexuals touch the interest of the majority of the people of traditional orientation,
“The respect of human rights must not violate the moral and ethic. And if such a violation occurs, the authorities must apply the relevant laws to prevent it”
Commenting about the appointment of Mr Likhachev, Nikolai Baev, a co-organizer of Moscow Pride said:
“The new Deputy Minister of Justice does not consider the rights of homosexuals to depend on the constitution or the law of this country,
“Moral, ethic and the interest of the majority of the population is sufficient in his eyes to discriminate against us” said Nikolai Baev.
Gay activist further expressed concerns about the future of registering LGBT groups as non-profit organization in the country.
“The Ministry of Justice denied so far to register any NGO which would officially advocate for the rights of gays and lesbians, but, with the appointment of Mr Likhachev we doubt the trend will reverse”
“The only solution is to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights but this process takes years” ended Nikolai Baev.