Workplace Pride, dedicated to fostering inclusive workplaces globally, expresses profound concern over Russia’s Supreme Court designating LGBT activists as “extremists.” This decision poses a significant threat to the safety, well-being, and professional lives of LGBTIQ+ individuals in the region.
The endorsement of the justice ministry’s request to ban the “international LGBT social movement” reflects an alarming trend in Russia, marked by increasing restrictions on expressions of sexual orientation and gender identity, including laws prohibiting the promotion of “non-traditional” relations and limiting legal or medical changes of gender.
President Vladimir Putin’s portrayal of Russia as a defender of traditional moral values, coupled with the suppression of diverse voices, underscores the challenging environment faced by the LGBTIQ+ community.
This ruling raises serious concerns about the protection of fundamental rights for LGBTIQ+ individuals in Russia. Workplace Pride stands in solidarity with the global community in condemning the suppression of their rights, advocating for a world where diversity is embraced and celebrated.
The ruling contributes to the distressing list of over 100 groups labelled as “extremist” in Russia, heightening concerns about potential arrests within the LGBTIQ+ community. The ambiguity surrounding the court’s definition of the “LGBT movement” leaves room for misuse, further jeopardising the rights and safety of the community.
“From our own experience in Russia, and other countries around the world, we know that inclusive workplaces for LGBTIQ+ people foster economic growth, both for businesses and the countries they invest in.” said David Pollard, Executive Director of Workplace Pride Foundation. “For this reason, we call on our members and all other international leaders, businesses, and organisations to join us in condemning this ruling. We urge Russian authorities to reconsider and prioritise the protection of the rights and well-being of their LGBTIQ+ citizens who make such a rich and useful contribution to Russian society.”
Workplace Pride represents more than 120 multinationals, governments and academic institutions who employee millions of individuals globally. The Foundation is active around the world in promoting LGBTIQ+ workplace inclusion and creating workplaces where everyone can truly be themselves.