Russia plans on expanding 'gay propaganda' law: Everything to know
- The bill has been introduced by a group of cross-party legislators
- It proposes ban on public discussion of homosexuality in a positive or neutral light
- The draft bill was posted on the website of Russian Parliament, or Duma
Russian lawmakers on Monday introduced a bill to expand the scope of a 2013 law that bans any information deemed “LGBT propaganda” by authorities. The current law restricts the display of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships” toward minors.
The bill has been introduced by a group of cross-party legislators and proposes to ban public discussion of LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) relationships in a positive or neutral light.
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The draft bill was posted on the website of Russian Parliament, or Duma. The proposed changes include a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($17,200) or up to 15 days in jail on any event or act regarded as an attempt to promote homosexuality.
Known as the "gay propaganda" bill, it seeks to tighten already stringent restrictions imposed on the LGBTQ issues.
If passed, the bill would restrict “information that denies family values” as well as “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" aimed at any age group, according to its explanatory note published on the lower-house State Duma website.
“Public approval and recognition of such relationships are dangerous not only for children and young people… but for the whole society,” the explanatory note states.
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Alexander Khinshtein, the head of the State Duma's information committee, said on a Telegram channel, "We propose to generally extend the ban on such propaganda regardless of the age of the audience (offline, in the media, on the internet, social networks and online cinemas)," according to Al Jazeera.
The legislation would also allow authorities to ban websites containing “prohibited information” about LGBT relationships.
Russia in 2013 outlawed “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" toward minors. The ban was widely criticized by human rights groups and LGBT rights advocates.
The proposal for the expansion of the "gay propaganda" law comes weeks after Russian parliamentary speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that a ban can be implemented on promotion of "non-traditional values" since the country has quit the Council of Europe human rights watchdog after invading Ukraine on February 24.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has aligned himself closely with the Orthodox Church - which rejects same-sex relationships. The church's social conservatism is part of a narrative of Russian political and cultural revival.
Until, 1993, homosexuality was a criminal offence in Russia.