Three gay rights activists brought the case at the European Court of Human Rights against the 2013 federal law and earlier regional legislation prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality among minors, Reuters reports.
But the ECHR found in favour of three gay activists who claimed the law violated the rights to freedom of expression and prohibition of discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights. At the time, lawmakers said the law would protect minors from "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations", but in practice makes it a crime.
"The laws on the ban of propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors did not contradict worldwide practice and were aimed at defending children's morality and health", the Russian Justice Ministry said in a statement. They also highlight the general impact of the ban on their daily lives, as it not only prevents them from campaigning for LGBT rights but also requires them in effect to hide their sexual orientation whenever a minor is present.
The group claims that the fines are a direct violation of their freedom of expression under the European Convention of Human Rights.
They were subsequently fined and appealed against the ruling in Russian courts.
Russia's justice ministry said it would appeal, and was "preparing legal arguments explaining Russia's position". Tatiana Lokshina, the Russian program director for the Human Rights Watch, says claims of torture were credible, but they they haven't received new claims in a while, thus, "It seems like the Kremlin made Kadyrov stop", as a result of the consolidated worldwide pressure on Russia in the wake of the news of these camps. Human rights observers argue that this law has been broadly applied to target and intimidate the LGBT community in Russian Federation. Russian Federation had provided no "science-based evidence" to support the claim, said the ruling.
"When they grow up, they may take any decision on their future, including private and sexual ones".
Russian Federation "failed to demonstrate how freedom of expression on L.G.B.T. issues would devalue or otherwise adversely affect actual and existing "traditional families" or would compromise their future", the court found.
"We strongly welcome today's ruling, not least given the renewed urgency over investigating the reports of a terrifying campaign of mass abduction and torture of gay men in Chechnya".
"These discriminatory laws now must be abolished", he said in a statement, adding that they had no place "in a free, civilised and democratic and country in the 21st century".