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Russia’s national gay gag law passes second reading

Russia’s national gay gag law passes second reading

Russia has passed a law that will see gay people arrested for ‘promoting homosexuality’.

The State Duma has voted unanimously for the ‘propaganda’ law in the second reading today (11 June).

Elena Mizulina represented the bill for 10 minutes where she spoke about the changes that had been made.

Aleksey Mitrofanov, a deputy from the A Just Russia party, was the only one who questioned the bill.

He questioned a proposed amendment where foreigners would be arrested and deported if they were deemed ‘promoting homosexuality’.

On this amendment, one deputy abstained and one voted against.

The Russian LGBT Network stated the final version of the bill used the ambiguous term ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’, instead of ‘propaganda of homosexuality’.

The rest of the bill passed without comment.

Gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev and other protestors rallied outside the State Duma of what they describe as a ‘barbaric law’.

‘The State Duma is following a trend of the government trying to appeal to the illiterate, who are very homophobic,’ Alekseev told Gay Star News.

‘Russia is isolating itself by criminalizing homosexual relations. We have seen the tip of the iceberg.’

He added: ‘It cannot get worse. People are getting killed because they are gay. No one really cares in the government.’

Alekseev warned the State Duma are likely to pass adoptions for foreign same-sex couples next week. 

He said the only way he could punish the Russian government was by outing the members of parliament who are gay who have voted against LGBT rights.

Offenders of the homosexual propaganda law will be punished with fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($166 €124) for individuals, and officials could be fined 10 times that amount. The penalty for organizations will be 1 million rubles ($ 30,7k €23,k)

A third final reading is expected this evening, where it is expected to pass.

If the Duma does pass the law, it could come into force by the end of the month.

UPDATE: A third reading has taken place and passed unanimously. It is now expected to become law.  Read more here.