Pride flag moving in the wind on an overcast day. Taken in Toronto’s Gay Village.

MOSCOW (Agencies): The Supreme Court of Russia declared the “international LGBT public movement” an extremist group on Thursday, leading to its outlawing. The ruling extends to subsidiaries of the movement, although the court did not specify particular organizations affected.

The lawsuit, initiated by the Russian Justice Ministry earlier this month, argued that the activities of the “LGBT movement” qualified it as an “extremist group,” alleging it has been fostering “social and religious discord” within the country.

The hearings, conducted behind closed doors, lasted over four hours, involving more than 20 volumes of material, as reported by RIA Novosti, citing the Supreme Court’s press service. No representatives from the “international LGBT movement” were present during the proceedings, with only an attorney for the Justice Ministry attending.

In recent years, Russia has progressively tightened legislation to counter the perceived spread of “LGBT ideology.” In 2013, the country banned the dissemination of such propaganda among minors, extending the measure to adults in the previous December.

Significant fines were introduced for those found guilty of promoting “non-traditional sexual relations,” transgenderism, and pedophilia.

However, the specific pro-LGBT groups affected by the new ruling in Russia remain unclear. The largest such group in the country is the ‘Russian LGBT network,’ a civic platform formed in the mid-2000s to unite regional organizations advocating for the rights of sexual minorities.

Designated as a “foreign agent” two years ago, the network is affiliated with LIGA – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association – a prominent Swiss-based NGO advocating for gay rights since the late 1970s.

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