Russia’s lower house of parliament passed a discriminatory law that bans Russians from promoting “LGBT propaganda” in the third reading on Thursday.
The move by Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, expands a 2013 law that banned people from discussing gay relationships and issues with children to apply to people of all ages.
The bill needs to be reviewed by Russia’s upper house of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin before becoming law.
Russia to fine people if they promote LGBT relationships
Russian lawmakers agreed all individuals could be fined up to 400,000 rubles ($6,600, €6,346) and legal entities up to 5 million rubles ($82,100, €79,985) if they “promoted or praised” LGBT relationships.
Foreigners can be arrested for up to 15 days or deported, according to the bill.
Any event or act regarded as an attempt to promote LGBTQ issues — including in films, books or advertising — could incur a fine, according to the bill.
Russia says bill seeks to protect values
Alexander Khinstein, one of the architects of the bill, said last month that “LGBT today is an element of hybrid warfare and in this hybrid warfare we must protect our values, our society and our children.”
While Russian lawmakers have portrayed the law as being a clash of civilizational values and sought to link it to the war in Ukraine, DW correspondent Juri Rescheto explained last month that the law didn’t change anything fundamentally but made an “already difficult situation worse.”
Human rights groups and critics of the law have also slammed the bill, calling it an attempt to humiliate and discriminate against a minority community.
Members of Russia’s LGBTQ community say they’ve increasingly grown accustomed to state-sponsored homophobia, but fear for their safety given new restrictions.
Relatedly, TikTok was fined 3 million rubles last month for promoting “videos with LGBT themes.”
rm/sms (Reuters, AP)