The Marriage Law in Russia says: marriage is the union between a man and a woman. According the Constitution of Russia, sex-based discrimination of citizens of our country is prohibited. Two male citizens of Russia attempted to get married and then reach the European Court in 2005. At the moment the court case is still under consideration in the European Court of Justice. Meanwhile, the most ardent opponents of gay marriage believe there is nothing wrong if you use the term "partnership" instead of "marriage". Most of gays and lesbians do not think that the lack of same-sex marriages seriously discriminates them.
Same sex couples can't adopt children in Russia. There is no existing legislation in this sphere. When lesbian couples have children they rarely conceal the fact that the child has two mothers.
They do not ask to specify sexual orientation in clinics and there are many examples of successful artificial inseminations of lesbians.
There is no law that would protect homosexuals and bisexuals from discrimination in the labor market. Nevertheless, a correspondent of the gay magazine "Queer" tested several large companies. He phoned to those companies and introduced himself as a candidate to the position, also informing them about his homosexual orientation. In every company it didn't seem to matter, he was suggested to be tested just as any other candidate.
There is no such law.
There is no article in the Constitution of Russia that forbids explicitly any sexual orientation based or gender-identity based discrimination.
There is no official prohibition of gay prides in Russia. But authorities don’t like it when gay demonstrations have political meaning and so forbid them. There were small-scale gay prides in Moscow in 1998 and in St. Petersburg in 2007 that caused no problems with authorities or citizens of the city.
It is doubtful whether gay prides can be organized in the nearest future after aggressive propaganda by Nikolai Alexeev.
The initiative of Nikolai Alexeev is not supported by most of gays and lesbians - there were 5-10 participants of gay prides during last 2 attempts. Either Gay or straight people couldn’t understand the sense of this gay pride. Alexeev himself announced in mass media that gay pride is his own initiative and he is not supported by any gay/lesbian organizations in our country.
There is no law about prohibition of hate propaganda against homosexuals. Life of gays, lesbians and transgenders is discussed in mass media. And there are different polar opinions in discussions - from acceptance till homophobic utterances. As a result of public opinion polls about life of homosexuals - 30% of citizens accept gay/lesbian life style, 70% - don’t accept.
There is no hate crime law that homophobic motive is severer punished in the court. Police in Russia inquires into these kinds of matters and there is not much difference in motive of crime.
Gay men can’t donate blood in Russia. The source of this prohibition is the old instruction of Public Health Ministry that gay people are in the risk group of HIV/AIDS. But of course gay people can donate their blood if without declaration about their sexual orientation.
There is a gay magazine called "Queer" published in Russia. It is freely distributed in Moscow, Saint- Petersburg and the large Russian cities in ordinary places of distribution of the printed media. The magazine is officially registered with the Ministry of the press, circulation is 33 000 copies.
Yes, the age of consent is the same for heterosexual and homosexual couples.
Yes, the sexual offence law is gender neutral.
There is at least one gay club in any large city. Moscow and St. Petersburg have about half a dozen of clubs each. These cities have official gay shops "Indigo". They sale books, feature films, clothing and gay attributes. Each shop is located in the centre of the each city.
It is not prohibited to be gay in the Army officially. If the sexual orientation is disclosed, the health authorities inspect how much the life style of conscript had been influenced. Some of conscripts are allowed to join, others are not. Being in the Army is not very popular among Russians because of the hazing by older soldiers that happens there. So even heterosexual conscripts have tried to avoid the Army siting the orientation as the reason.
A post-op transgender has a right to change his name and the passport and becomes a rightful citizen. It can take more than a year to achieve this operation.
Practically all the parties in Russia except the Communist Party try to abstain from any comments on the topic of homosexuality. Even the Communist Party express just their personal opinion and it happens very rarely - 1-2 times a year.
Also see out guides on travelling and accomodation in Russia.