LGBT World Cup fans headed to Russia advised to be cautious

LGBT fans who are going to Russia to support England in the World Cup have been warned against displaying affection in public places. Homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, but there are no laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. The 2018 Fifa World Cup begins in Russia on 14 June. ‘Negative attention’ The Foreign Office advice to LGBT travellers reads: “Public displays of affection may attract negative attention. The republics of the North Caucasus are particularly intolerant to LGBT+ issues. Since April 2016, reports continue to be received of state persecution of the LGBT+ community in Chechnya.” In Chechnya, a Russian republic, it has been reported that more than one hundred gay men have been detained on suspicion of homosexuality. “In 2018 Russia was ranked 45th out of 49 European countries for LGBT+ rights by ILGA-Europe,” according to the advice. “There are no laws that exist to protect LGBT+ people from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.” Moscow Pride banned In 2012, Moscow Pride was banned for 100 years. The following year, the country passed a law banning the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” to under-18s. This has led to reports of harassment, threats and acts of violence towards the LGBT community. No foreign nationals have been charged or convicted under the law. The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) said the crackdown in Chechnya has extended to other areas of the North Caucasus and advised LGBT fans to avoid this area. No World Cup matches will take place in this region.

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