Were there any changes? New Russian Constitution as an example of queer



Dmitrii Tolkachev, PhD student, Faculty of Social Science, Higher School of

Economics, Moscow


In July 2020, the Russian Constitution was changed to keep Vladimir Putin in

power. One of the amendments concerns the concept of marriage as the union of a

man and a woman. The Constitutional Court of Russia, commenting on the

amendments, drew attention to the prohibition of discrimination based on sexual

orientation. The Russian authorities’ discourse on homosexuality is unstable. On

the one hand, there is an attempt to reinvent “traditional values”. On the other

hand, it is essential to prevent human rights violations. The situation of creating

unstable political institutions is practiced continuously in Russia. Sexual

orientation issues are no exception. I propose to analyze how legislative changes

took place, how the discourse about homosexuality changed in Russia after the

regional laws on “homosexual propaganda” and Federal law on “non-traditional

sexual relationships”. I suggest analyzing changes on the political map of Russia

using a new approach of queer institutionalism to show how Russian authorities’

discourse about homosexuality defined Russian institutional changes.