Russia moves closer to total ban of ‘LGBTQ propaganda’
Russia’s State Duma has taken another step towards a complete ban of ‘LGBTQ propaganda’ in the country. The relevant legislation was approved by the lower house of parliament following a second reading on Wednesday. It introduces significant penalties for the distribution of materials promoting non-traditional relations, pedophilia, and gender reassignment.
The bill “on the protection of traditional values” is widely seen as a follow-up to a 2013 law, which prohibited the spread of LGBTQ materials among those under 18. If enacted, the law would ban this kind of ‘propaganda’ among “both minors and adults,” according to a statement issued by the Duma. It would apply to “the media, the internet, literature and cinema.”
It would also expand requirements imposed on the advertising industry, which prohibit the demonstration of non-traditional sexual relations or preferences.
Breaching the new regulations would result in a fine of up to 400,000 rubles ($6,600) for individuals and up to four million rubles ($66,000) for corporate entities. Foreign offenders would also be expelled from Russia.
“We must do everything to protect our children and those who want to live a normal life. Everything else is sin, sodomy, darkness, and our country is fighting this,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the State Duma.
On Wednesday, lawmakers rejected amendments that would introduce criminal liability for repeated offenses.
Another proposal, which was not supported by Duma members, suggested banning video games that depict LGBTQ relations and acts of violence. According to Alexander Khinshtein, chairman of the Duma’s Committee on Information Policy, video games should be subject to separate regulation.
The third and final reading of the bill “on the protection of traditional values” is planned for Thursday.