THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION - Sep 1 - The Russian LGBT Network has been able to challenge shutdowns in court. 32 different LGBT+ websites were blocked at least once on Russian internet providers between mid-2016 and mid-2020. Same-sex relations in Russia are legal, but attitudes about sexuality and gender identity remain conservative. In a 2020 referendum, voters backed an amendment to the constitution to allow marriage only between a man and a woman, closing the door on same-sex weddings.
Website bans violate Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Indonesia, Iran and Russia are signatories. The multilateral treaty says "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression ... (including) freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers".
Iran blocked the highest number of website addresses linked to LGBT+ content. 75 unique LGBTIQ URLs were detected as blocked in Iran, followed by the UAE with 51 unique LGBTIQ URLs were found to be blocked. Five years ago, Indonesia's government said it would move to ban LGBT+ sites, and at least 38 LGBT+ websites are currently blocked. Grindr is banned in Indonesia, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE.