Following the referendum, not only are they sure to stick with Vladimir Putin until 2036, but marriage has been defined in the constitution as the union of only a man and a woman.
There was nothing democratic about the process since the Russians were asked to vote “yes” or “no” on a package of over 200 constitutional amendments, and not at a time.
Already deprived of expression in public places since the approval of the anti-LGBTQ “propaganda” law in 2013, LGBTQ people had no chance to defend their freedom to exist and to love.
President Vladimir Putin wanted to put an end to the protest of Russian activists, of other European countries and of organizations that denounce the growing discrimination and violence against LGBTQ individuals.
This year’s revision of the constitution was the perfect opportunity for Putin to put his plan into action.
It came as no surprise to see the Russians vote in favor of the package of bills. We knew it was a lost cause, but it is still sad and revolting.
“Russia is tripling down on its attacks on the basic human rights and dignity of LGBTQ people by adding constitutional prohibitions against marriage equality,” Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “Putin and his administration used propaganda brochures leading up to the election promising a return to ‘traditional family values,’ using marriage between loving couples as a wedge to push through his nefarious agenda. It is shameful, manipulative, and malicious.”
Every year the situation is getting a little worse and now there will be no opening towards greater acceptance of LGBTQ people in Russia for the next 16 years.