Russia's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that LGBTQ activists should be designated as "extremists," in a move that representatives of gay and transgender people fear will lead to arrests and prosecutions.

The presiding judge announced that he had endorsed a request from the Justice Ministry to ban what it called "the international LGBT social movement."

The move is part of a pattern of increasing restrictions in Russia on expressions of sexual orientation and gender identity, including laws outlawing the promotion of "nontraditional" sexual relations and banning legal or medical changes of gender.