In 2013, Russia passed two laws aimed at the LGBT community, including the law that provided administrative penalties for ‘propaganda of non-traditional relationships’. The laws generated strong international criticism, and were widely seen as the actions of an insulated authoritarian leadership against domestic critics. While domestic factors were very significant, they are insufficient to explain Russia's legislation, for two reasons: first, because the timing of Russia's reforms coincided with the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Britain and France; and second, because Russia had been working for years to promote the heterosexual ‘traditional family’ in international bodies such as the United Nations. This paper examines the respective roles of domestic and international factors in Russia's laws on same-sex relationships, and situates Russia's messaging on LGBTQ issues in the context of the literatures on global norm diffusion and the ‘right to the truth’.

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International Journal of Human Rights
Department of Political Science

Chandler, A. (2020). Russia's laws on ‘non-traditional’ relationships as response to global norm diffusion. International Journal of Human Rights, 1–23. doi:10.1080/13642987.2020.1789106