by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
An anti-gay member of Russia’s upper chamber of Parliament has been appointed deputy minister of justice, GayRussia.ru reported March 1.
Vasily Likhachev has expressed support for the Ministry of Justice’s recent refusal to register the gay organization Marriage Equality Russia, saying, “The steps taken by the representatives of the gay community contradict the general state of morality of Russian society because it is not our culture and our form of relations.”
In 2006, Likhachev said: “Already in seven countries of the European Union, homosexuals are allowed to adopt children. The number of countries where same-sex marriages are permitted continues to grow. That’s why in questions concerning gays, there shouldn’t be maximum permissiveness; otherwise, we will go too far and the development of the world will go in the wrong direction.”
He has defended Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s perennial bans of Moscow Pride, saying: “City authorities are absolutely right in not following the interests of sexual minorities. There could not be any other discussion here. … The respect of human rights must not violate the moral and ethical.”
Moscow Pride denounced Likhachev’s appointment.
“The new deputy minister of justice does not consider the rights of homosexuals to depend on the constitution or the law of this country,” said spokesman Nikolai Baev. “Morals, ethics and the interest of the majority of the population are sufficient in his eyes to discriminate against us.”