National anti-gay bill submitted to Russian parliament

Proposed law calls for fines of up to half a million rubles for 'spreading homosexual propaganda'

National anti-gay bill submitted to Russian parliament
29 March 2012

An anti-gay 'propaganda' bill, similar to the one passed in St Petersburg, has been submitted to the Russian parliament.

The proposed law calls for fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,500 €12,400) for 'spreading homosexual propaganda' among minors.

Lawmakers from the Novosibirsk region submitted the legislation to the State Duma today (29 March) and is similar to the law passed in St Petersburg earlier this month.

If passed, it would gag gay and transgender people nationwide, potentially banning public discussion of LGBT issues or events targeted at gay and trans people.

However, gay Moscow activist Nikolai Alekseev says if the bill is passed it will be difficult to implement on a national level.

'The law in different regions is being applied in different ways,' Alekseev told Gay Star News.

'One of our strongest arguments against this federal law is that it will be applied in a very arbitrary way.

'They can interpret the law however they want but it’s only being applied to silence the LGBT community and deny the basic rights of freedom of expression.

'The main aim is to keep LGBT people out of the public domain and systematically deny them registration of their organizations and public events which would draw attention to the rights of homosexual people'

He adds that the law could also be applied to censoring entertainment and the arts, including literature by gay authors such as Oscar Wilde and pro-gay pop stars like Madonna, who has vowed to speak out against homophobic laws in Russia when she performs in the country this summer.

Alekseev told GSN that it could be some time before the bill is discussed in the Duma but said: 'We are asking them not to consider this bill before the UN Human Rights Committee gives its verdict on similar laws in other regions.

'That will give us the first evaluation of whether such laws passed in Russia are contradictory to the international obligations or not.'

The St Petersburg bill makes it an offense to engage in any 'propaganda' that could give minors 'the false perception that traditional and nontraditional relationships are socially equal.'

The Russian states of Arkhangelsk, Ryazan and Kostroma have already adopted similar anti-gay laws.

The laws have been roundly condemned by Europe, the US State Department, human rights organizations and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campaigners and individuals as well as their straight allies.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Ryanair air steward stole duty free products to sell on eBay

Gay cabin crew supervisor, Thomas Crayston, given community order and told to compensate Ryanair for thefts
No thumbnail available

Guatemala says no to gay marriage

Otto Pérez Molina, president of Guatemala, says he is opposed to gay marriage, ahead of a discussion on the matter by the Organization of American States
No thumbnail available

Bret Easton Ellis rails against GLAAD and reaction to Jason Collins coming-out

Controversial author says basketball player Jason Collins was treated like a 'baby panda' when he came out
Woman makes history as first openly transgender staff member at The White House

Woman makes history as first openly transgender staff member at The White House

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is the new outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel
No thumbnail available

Frank Ocean includes F-bomb in writing $212,500 check to end Chipotle lawsuit against him

Mexican food chain sued Grammy-winning singer after he backed out of singing on ad he had received advance for
No thumbnail available

One Direction's Niall responds to Vine video that caught him 'kissing a guy'

Fans of the boy band are going crazy over a six second video that appears to show Niall Horan kissing a guy on his birthday
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on why he signed gay marriage bill

Says effort was led by a desire to fight for the dignity of every child's home
No thumbnail available

This exclusively gay Mediterranean oasis is your home away from home

The ultimate villa dinner party and a Michelin-star picnic are just a few of the social functions you can design for you and your friends at Cinq & Sept, a sumptuous gay guesthouse in the South of France
No thumbnail available

Gay US college student gets note on first week of semester: ‘Faggots don’t belong here’

A student at Azusa Pacific University had a homophobic note pinned to his door on the first week of semester, telling him gay students are not welcome