Russias State Duma approves law banning LGBT propaganda across nation in first reading

On Thursday, lawmakers of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, unanimously approved draft legislation prohibiting the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations in the media, on the Internet, in commercials, books, or in films. According to the Tass report, around 400 legislators, including State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, had backed the bill. 

The law forbids the promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships, paedophilia, and the dissemination of material related to the LGBT community and material that encourages teenagers to change their gender, on the internet, in media, on audio and visual platforms, in motion pictures, as well as in advertisements. 

Furthermore, the law also includes a system that limits children’s access to information on the LGBT community on paid websites. It specifically requires users to enter codes or carry out other steps to verify their age. The proposal also advises prohibiting audio and visual services from disseminating content detrimental to children’s development and health. 

The proposed law sets fines for promoting LGBT propaganda

According to the Tass report, the proposed law sets maximum fines for promoting LGBT propaganda among kids at 5 million rubles (more than $81,400) and for adults at 4 million rubles (more than $65,146). Expulsion from Russia and fines of up to 400,000 rubles ($6,500) would be imposed on foreign nationals engaging in propagandising non-traditional sexual interactions. 

It is pertinent to mention that in Russia, homosexuality was classified as a mental disease until 1999 and was a criminal offence until 1993. According to RFE/RL report, a new constitution for Russia was established in 2020, and it contained wording that defines marriage as solely limited to the union of a man and a woman.  

In addition, the proposed law specifies a range of administrative sanctions of up to 10 million rubles (more than $163,000) for paedophilia propaganda. Foreign nationals participating in paedophilia propaganda risk being expelled from Russia and a fine of up to 800,000 rubles (more than $13,045) rubles. Regarding foreign nationals, an administrative 15-day detention is also an option.  

The proposed law also specifies a variety of administrative fines of up to 4 million rubles ($65,220) for spreading propaganda for gender transformation.  

State Duma Speaker Volodin had already given orders to the Duma’s key committees on family, women, and children’s affairs and on information policy, information technology, and communications to be ready for hearings. 

Apart from this, the lower house received high-profile efforts on the prohibition of information promoting non-traditional partnerships, as the Duma chairman highlighted. He emphasised that this matter was crucial since “a huge number of appeals with requests to adopt a law banning propaganda” that undermines Russian society and traditional family values were submitted to the lower chamber, Tass reported. 

A draft law establishing administrative accountability for the promotion of non-traditional sexual relationships, paedophilia, and gender reassignment in adolescents and adults was also passed by the State Duma legislators in the first reading. 

(Image: AP/ Representative)

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