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Russian law on LGBT propaganda: the State Duma adopts amendments


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

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

The original version of the law passed in 2013 prohibited the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors. The new version would also apply the law to adults.

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

It will now go to the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, before being signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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

The court found that the law “served no legitimate public interest”, rejecting suggestions that public discussion of LGBT issues could encourage children to become gay or that it threatened public morals.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but homophobia and discrimination are still rampant. It is ranked 46th out of 49 European countries for LGBTQ+ inclusion by watchdog ILGA-Europe.

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