Armenia: Police seek to ban discussion of gay and lesbian relationships
Armenia has become the latest former Soviet state to seek to ban discussion of “non traditional sexual relationships”.
Armenian police proposed a ban on promoting gay and lesbian relationships last week, seeking to amend the Southern Caucasus nation’s administrative offences law.
The police drafted a proposed article to the Administrative Violations Code which would see Armenian citizens fined up to £2,500 for promoting what it calls “non traditional sexual relationships”.
Armenia decriminalised homosexuality in 2003 after having banned sex between men under Soviet rule in 1936, and was the first country to sign on to the UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in 2008.
But attitudes towards LGBT people have recently taken a turn in the country, following a series of attacks on gay bars last year in May by far-right groups.
LGBT Armenians have no legal recognition of their relationships, cannot adopt, and have no legal protections from discrimination.
Writing for PinkNews, prospective Liberal Democrat candidate for the European Parliament Giles Goodall pointed out that Armenia and Azerbaijan were neighboured when it came to LGBT rights in the EU, just ahead of Bulgaria and Italy which are ranked lowest
The law has so far sparked controversy among LGBT activists, with some calling for a boycott of the 2014 Games. Others have also called to boycott Russian vodka as a form of protest.