Russia passes law banning ‘LGBTQ+ propaganda’

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Moscow (EFE) literature and cinema, and introduced fines of up to 10 million rubles (165,200 dollars or 160,500 euros) for violation of the legislation.

“The promotion of non-traditional sexual relations is prohibited. Any propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations will be sanctioned. A ban on the promotion of pedophilia and sex reassignment was also introduced. Fines will amount to up to 10 million rubles,” the State Duma said in a statement after the adoption of the third and final reading of the law.

Increase in homophobia with state permission

The legislation represents a significant tightening of current law, as it extends the ban on “LGBTQ+ propaganda” among minors to adults. The day before, the Duma passed the legislation in second reading and also introduced a series of amendments to the text to extend its scope to pedophilia and sex reassignment.

The bill has been harshly criticized by LGBTQ+ associations and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International (AI), which has already indicated after the first reading that the amended legislation will increase homophobia with the permission from the Russian state and it will reach a whole new level.

An image of the Russian Duma. EFE/EPA/Alexander Astafyev/ Sputnik / Government Press Service

“The new ‘gay propaganda’ bill not only blatantly deprives LGBTI people of their right to freedom of expression and endorses their discrimination, it is also likely to lead to an increase in violent attacks and ‘other hate crimes against them,’ AI said. Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Marie Struthers.

The argument from the threat of Western liberal policies

Some 400 lawmakers, including Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, were involved in crafting the law, which the Lower House today justified as a ‘solution that will protect our children, the country’s future, from the darkness that is coming. extend to the United States and the European States.

The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, considers propaganda “the dissemination of public information or actions aimed at the formation of non-traditional sexual attitudes, their attractiveness, and distorted ideas about the social equivalence of traditional sexual relationships and non-traditional”.

The text introduces the prohibition of “propaganda of non-traditional relationships”, pedophilia, as well as the prohibition of the dissemination of information on LGBTQ + people in the media, internet, advertising, literature and cinema.
“Calls” for teen sex reassignment in these media are also prohibited.

Russia passes a law banning "LGBTQ+ propaganda"
Photograph from a television showing Russian State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin. EFE/Jorge Torres

In addition, it establishes a prohibition against issuing a distribution certificate to a film that contains material promoting “non-traditional” sexual relationships and preferences.

The law also provides for the introduction of a mechanism that restricts children’s access to listening to or viewing LGBTQ+ information on payment services, so that the introduction of one code or another type of measurement will be required to confirm the user’s age.

At the same time, access to LGBTQ+ information is prohibited for those under 18.

The legislation also establishes a ban on the sale of goods, including imports, containing LGBTQ+ information.

Heavy fines for LGBTQ+ ‘propaganda’

On the other hand, the law introduces fines for LGBTQ+ “propaganda” for citizens up to 100,000 rubles (1,650 dollars or 1,600 euros), which will double in the case of civil servants.

Russia passes a law banning "LGBTQ+ propaganda"
Sunset in Moscow, with the Kremlin in the background. EFE/EPA/Yuri Kochetkov

The same “failure” incurred by a legal person will result in a fine of one million rubles (16,650 dollars or 16,000 euros).
These penalties will be doubled in the event of LGTBQ+ propaganda among minors.

The largest fines will be imposed for “propaganda” of pedophilia, which for citizens will amount to up to 400,000 rubles (6,600 dollars and 6,400 euros) and which will be multiplied if those sanctioned are civil servants.

For legal entities, the economic penalty is up to 10 million rubles (165,200 dollars or 160,500 euros).
In some cases, legal persons can be punished with up to 90 days suspension of activities.

Foreigners and stateless persons will be penalized the same amount as Russians, with the particularity that in the event of aggravating circumstances, such as the use of the internet and the media to make LGTBQ+ “propaganda”, they may be expelled from the country .

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