Gay Rights: Merkel Urges Putin to Intervene

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to help protect gay rights in Chechnya.

Activists say police in the republic have arrested and tortured dozens of people in an anti-gay crackdown.

Mrs Merkel raised the issue during her first visit to Russia since 2015, which saw her hold talks with Mr Putin at his summer residence in Sochi.

Relations between the two nations have been strained over Syria and Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel

The Russian federal law "for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values", also known in English-language media as the gay propaganda law and the so-called anti-gay law. 

It is a bill that was unanimously approved by the State Duma on 11 June 2013 (with just one MP abstaining—Ilya Ponomarev), and was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin on 30 June 2013.

The Russian government's stated purpose for the law is to protect children from being exposed to homonormativity — content presenting homose.xuality as being a norm in society — under the argument that it contradicts traditional family values. 

The statute amended the country's child protection law and the Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses, to make the distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" among minors, an offense punishable by fines. 

This definition includes materials that "raises interest in" such relationships; cause minors to "form non-traditional se.xual predispositions"; or "[present] distorted ideas about the equal social value of traditional and non-traditional se.xual relationships." 

Businesses and organizations can also be forced to temporarily cease operations if convicted under the law, and foreigners may be arrested and detained for up to 15 days then deported, or fined up to 5 000 rubles and deported. - BBC/Online Sources

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