The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) will examine laws being passed by Russian local authorities that ban “propaganda of homosexuality to minors” — which could potentially include any information about gays and lesbians in the public domain.

Russian LGBTI rights activists have lodged complaints about the laws with both UNHCR and the European Court of Human Rights. The UNHCR is set to hear the matter in July 2012.

Previous challenges to the bans have been rejected by the Russian Constitutional Court.

“If we win, it will … be the first time that Russia is officially defeated at the UN over an LGBT issue,” a Gay Russia advocacy group spokesperson said.

Ryazan was the first Russian local government area to institute a ban in 2006, followed by Arkhangelsk.

Lawmakers in Moscow and St Petersburg are considering similar laws.

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