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Russia’s Duma rejects bill banning gays from coming out

Russia’s Duma rejects bill banning gays from coming out

Russia gays will protest despite homophobic laws

A Russian State Duma committee on Monday (18 January) rejected a bill banning people from coming out as gay.

The legislation – introduced in October 2015 by Communist Party MPs Ivan Nikitchuk and Nikolai Arefyev, would have punished ‘the public expression of non-traditional sexual relations’ by up to 15 days imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 rubles ($80, €60).

Dmitry Vyatkin, deputy chairman of the committee on constitutional legislation and state-building, said that the draft bill was rejected ‘primarily due to the fact that from a formal legal perspective, the bill was illiterate,’ the RBC news agency reported.

According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, lawmakers snickered as Nikitchuk told the committee that homosexuality was a ‘contagious disease’ and a ‘threat to society.’

‘There is a group of people who, in our opinion, have a damaged psyche, and as a result have deviated from their sexual orientation,’ he said.

‘This is an illness on a level with drugs and alcoholism and other illnesses,’ he continued.

‘What’s more, this illness is contagious. For a young man with an unformed psyche, it represents a serious threat.’

Human Rights Watch condemned the bill as a ‘new and absurd low in discriminatory legislative proposals.’

In 2013, the State Duma passed Russia’s infamous gay ‘propaganda’ law, which bans the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality to minors.