Russia’s parliament on Thursday approved the third and final reading of a law that expands an existing ban on promoting “LGBT propaganda” to children – with today’s approval, the ban is targeted at all ages.
Under the expanded law, any event or act deemed to be an attempt to promote homosexuality, including online, in films, books, advertising or in public, can incur a hefty fine.
The fine will be up to 400,000 rubles ($6,600) for individuals and up to 5 million rubles ($82,100) for legal entities.
Foreigners can face 15 days in jail and subsequent expulsion from the country.
Critics see the move as an attempt to further intimidate and oppress sexual minorities in Russia, where authorities have already used existing laws to disrupt gay pride marches and detain gay rights activists.
Lawmakers say they are defending morality in the face of what they see as decadent “non-Russian” values promoted by the West.
But rights groups say the measures are aimed at banning the representation of minorities such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQIA+) in public life.
“Today, LGBT is an element of the hybrid war and in this hybrid war we must protect our values, our society and our children,” said Alexander Khinstein, one of the authors of the bill, last month.
The LGBT Network, which offers legal assistance, called the legislation an “absurd” attempt to humiliate and discriminate against the LGBT community.
TikTok, the video-sharing app, was fined 3 million rubles last month for promoting “LGBT-themed videos”, while Russia’s media regulator asked publishers to withdraw all books containing the alleged ” LGBT propaganda”.
The bill needs to be reviewed by the upper house of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin before it takes effect.
Source: CNN Brasil