Russia passes adult focused ‘gay propaganda’ law


Russia has passed a law which stops positive depictions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to adults.

The bill criminalises the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relationships” and the country embraces more conservative values.

The ban applies to film, online, advertising and public statements, and is an expansion of a previous law that was introduced in 2013. That law only applied to places where minors may be present, but the new laws will cover all of Russian society.

“The 2013 ‘gay propaganda’ law was an unabashed example of political homophobia, and the new draft legislation amplifies that in broader and harsher ways,” said Tanya Lokshina, associate Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Just as the original law resulted in significant stigma and harm toward LGBT people in Russia, this updated version will have an even more stifling effect on freedom of expression, well-being and security.”

“This law – like its predecessor – doesn’t protect anyone but seeks to stoke fear and hatred about a minority. It cuts off kids from the services they need to thrive, and in some cases even survive,” Lokshina said. “The proposed legislation and the original ‘gay propaganda’ ban have no place in any society and belong in the trash.”

The penalty for breaking the law is a fine of 400,000 roubles (AUD$962) for individuals, or 5,000,000 roubles (AUD$120,400) for organisations. Foreigners caught breaking the laws could face up to 15 days imprisonment and expulsion from the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign the bill in coming days brining the new law into effect.

While homosexuality remains legal in the country, human rights groups have declared that the new law is almost the equivalent of banning homosexuality.

One of the architects of the bill, Alexander Khinshtein, said the additional laws were needed due to the ongoing military operation against Ukraine.

“The special military operation takes place not only on the battlefield but also in the minds and souls of people,”  Khinshtein said. The politician had previously warned of the dangers of children’s TV character Peppa Pig corrupting the minds of Russian citizens.

OIP Staff

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