Russia to vote on gay gag as another region makes it law

Another million Russians banned from ‘promoting homosexuality’ as national anti-gay law comes back on agenda at the State Duma

Russia to vote on gay gag as another region makes it law
25 January 2013

Russia’s State Duma, or parliament, is set to debate and vote on a law against ‘gay propaganda’ at 5pm Moscow time today (25 January).

The debate comes as news breaks that Kaliningrad region, with a population of almost a million, passed a similar law yesterday (24 January).

It’s the 10th Russian region to pass the law which forbids ‘homosexual propaganda’ to minors which it links to pedophilia.

Similar legislation already exists in St Petersburg, Ryazan, Arkangelsk, Kostroma, Magadansk, Samar, Bashkortostan, Krasnodar and Novosibirsk.

The Kaliningrad bill was drafted by regional United Russia Deputy Oleg Bolychev. It will fine individual offenders up to 5,000 rubles ($166 €124) and organizations up to 1million rubles ($33,000 €35,000).

The United Russia party, of President Vladimir Putin, is also promoting the bill in the State Duma, even though their Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, has said a federal bill is not needed.

Yury Garikov, a gay Russian campaigner, told Gay Star News that the United Russia party’s strategy was to push the law regionally before securing it at a federal level. The party holds a majority in the State Duma.

Garikov said it was in part a reaction to what some Russians see as the US government’s pro-gay agenda.

Relationships between the two countries have deteriorated since the US Congress passed the Magnitsky Act, a bi-partisan bill to punish Russian officials thought to be responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky by banning them from the United States and its banking system.

Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison after investigating fraud involving Russian tax officials.

Garikov said: ‘They want to react politically. If Barack Obama and the government of the United States are for gay rights, they say we are not. They are creating two political poles.’

The debate on the matter in the State Duma has already been delayed twice. It was supposed to happen on 19 December and then was rescheduled for 22 January. At that point it was said to have been postponed ‘indefinitely’ but has now come back onto the agenda.

Nikolai Alekseev, of Gay Russia, said the outcome of today’s events in the State Duma is uncertain.

He told GSN: ‘They are supposed to vote at 5pm today. I have no idea if they are going to pass it on the first reading. I think they will try to delay it.’

Both the previously scheduled, albeit cancelled, debates on the bill have seen Russian gay activists attacked and pelted with eggs.

Meanwhile in Kaliningrad Oblast, the new bill now only needs the signature of Governor Nikolay Tsukanov to become law.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Chance to perform at LadyRock Festival

LadyRock Idol offers prize of main stage slot
No thumbnail available

Minnesota State Senate passes gay marriage bill by a close vote of 37-30

Becomes the 12th state in the US to pass marriage equality
No thumbnail available

Tory chairmen call for delay on gay marriage vote

Senior local Conservatives are urging the UK prime minister to delay any parliamentary decision on gay marriage until after the next election
No thumbnail available

Hong Kong gov says no to consultation on equal rights for LGBT people

In annual policy address Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung confirms that there will be no public consultation on sexual orientation discrimination
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Chris Kluwe's coach wants him to focus on football not activism

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe asked to tone down his activism
No thumbnail available

Stephen Fry and Elliot Spencer's Honduras honeymoon ruined by gay-hating locals

'It was homophobia. I don’t want to go into detail, but we had to leave'
No thumbnail available

Israel’s Health Ministry warns public about dangers of ‘ex-gay’ therapies

Israel’s Ministry of Health issued a public warning on Sunday that attempts to ‘cure’ people of their same-sex attractions are not based on real science and can be potentially harmful
No thumbnail available

Singapore gay couple respond to judge's ruling against them

Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee say it is 'disheartening' that judge ruled to retain law which criminalizes gay sex between men in Singapore
No thumbnail available

Hairspray director Adam Shankman checks into rehab

Shankman had told Gay Star News this week he planned on 'vanishing' during holiday season