Council of Europe again flags up 'homosexual propaganda'

The Council of Europe have flagged up a concern with 'homosexual propaganda' laws on their web page relating to human rights and homophobia. The page states:

'Whilst for many LGBT people in Europe life has become easier and society more tolerant, they face still many other obstacles. The European Court of Human Rights has been asked to judge cases involving the banning of gay pride parades and discrimination in granting social rights, with a number of applications pending on the laws which criminalise “homosexual propaganda”'.

The increasing references to 'homosexual propaganda' in the Council are encouraging and strongly suggest forthcoming action against those states that have enacted or seek to enact such laws. 

Secretary General Jagland has expressed his concern about 'homosexual propaganda' laws in Ukraine, the issue has been made central to the ongoing supervision of the judgment in Alekseyev v Russia (as I have previously reported), and the Venice Commission is due to report on the human rights implications of the laws very soon. 

The lack of movement in the Court on the outstanding complaints against the Russian Federation might suggest that the Council intends to tackle the issue first via the Alekseyev judgment, leaving to the Committee of Ministers to find that the propaganda laws fall within the sphere of freedom of assembly covered by that judgment. The forthcoming opinion of the Venice Commission should be central to this.