(JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League called for a new version of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to pressure Russia to improve its treatment of gays.
Jackson-Vanik was a provision of the 1974 Trade Act that denied favored status to nations that restricted emigration. The amendment was used to pressure the Soviet Union to loosen its restrictive emigration policies.
“It is obvious that Russia is oppressing the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in a manner similar to the ways in which the Soviet Union once oppressed the Jewish community,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman wrote Friday in an article in the Huffington Post. “We need a new Jackson-Vanik to convince Russia that steps backward on this issue of basic human rights will be met with strong repercussions from the United States.”
In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed new anti-gay legislation that prohibits “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations amongst minors,” including any gay-rights literature; banned gay-rights advocacy in general; and prohibited gay pride events in Moscow for the next 100 years.
Protests against the new law have met with violent retribution in recent months.