In his interview for radio "Echo of Moscow" Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, said that "Europe was dissatisfied with gay hatred in Russia but had no instruments to influence on LGBT human rights limitation in that country".
According to his statement, "the adoption of the bill banning propaganda of the homosexuality would shift Russia to the opposite direction from Europe which on the contrary has been adopting legislation during the last decade that prohibits discrimination of homosexuals".
Mr. Jagland underlined the fact that "there were no proof for homosexuality to negatively influence the demographic situation" and added that "the protection of the LGBT rights was, first of all, the protection of human rights and the opinion of the majority should not affect the rights of minorities". But on the other hand the COE SG admitted that Europe nearly had no real mechanisms to influence Russia in case of LGBT rights limitation except sanctions imposed by the European Court of Justice on Russia after legal suits and complaints.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe has underlined that the Russian authorities should do everything to comply with the norms of the European Convention on Human Rights, including its Article 11 that guarantees freedom of meetings and unions. "There aren't any grounds to limit LGBT people in that rights", he concluded. "Mentioning of homosexuality in mass-media is a normal thing, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland was cited by "Echo of Moscow" as saying. "Freedom of speech is one of the basic rights in any democratic society and we have to speak that homosexuality does exist".
For reference: Saint-Petersburg soon is likely to become the third Russian region banning the so-called "propaganda of homosexuality" among minors. The United Russia party was the prime mover of that anti-gay amendment to the Administrative Code of Saint-Petersburg. Earlier, the deputies of the local legislature have backed in the first reading these homophobic amendments. The fate of that bill is to be decided by the newly elected session of Saint-Petersburg's Legislature Assembly.
English translation presented by Yerdna Bananes