Russian LGBT propaganda law: State Duma passes amendments


Russia’s lower house of parliament passed in third reading amendments to a law on so-called “gay propaganda” on Thursday, extending responsibility to all ages.

The discriminatory law proposes banning all Russians from promoting or “praising” same-sex relationships or implying publicly that they are “normal.”

The original version of the law adopted in 2013 prohibited “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors. The new iteration will apply the law to adults, too.

Individuals who spread or attempt to distribute what the bill calls “gay propaganda” will be fined up to 400,000 rubles ($6,600). Legal entities can be fined up to 5 million rubles ($82,100). Foreigners can be detained for up to 15 days or deported, according to the bill.

It will now be referred to the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, before Russian President Vladimir Putin signs it into law.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda law” is discriminatory, encourages homophobia and violates the European Convention on Human Rights.

The court found that the law “does not serve the legitimate public interest,” rejecting suggestions that public discussion of LGBTQ issues could influence children to become gay, or that it threatens public morality.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but homophobia and discrimination remain rife. It is ranked 46th out of 49 European countries for LGBTQ+ inclusion by the monitoring agency ILGA-Europe.

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