Russia’s upper house approves ‘gay propaganda’ bill, will become law

Anyone who offends a religious believer could be sent to jail as the Senate also makes it illegal for foreign gay couples

Russia’s upper house of parliament passed the nationwide ‘gay propaganda’ bill yesterday (26 June), leaving it to President Vladimir Putin who supports it to sign into law.

The Senate approved the measure by 137 votes to 0, with one abstention.

A bill banning adoption of Russian orphans by gay couples abroad or unmarried individuals in countries where same-sex unions are legal was also passed.

Lyudmila Bokova, the senator who introduced the first law, said it will ‘ensure informational safety of minors from propaganda…that negatively impacts a child’s character.’

‘Information propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations will be prohibited,’ she said, as no debate followed before the politicians unanimously voted against gay rights.

Additionally, the senators also approved a bill imposing jail terms of up to three years on people who offend religious believers.

On 25 June, Putin warned Western countries not to interfere on Russia’s plan to ban ‘gay propaganda’.

He said the rights of LGBT people in Russia are not violated under the ‘gay propaganda’ law, saying he must think of the rights of children.

‘They are full-fledged members of our society, and this law does not discriminate.’

Speaking to Gay Star News, gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev, described the law as ‘barbaric’ and said it will legalize homophobia.

‘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.’

On adoptions being banned for foreign couples, Alekseev said it will harm ‘Russian children who are kept in very miserable conditions’.

‘While Russian LGBTs have another day of sorrow, American LGBTs can celebrate their progress to equality. Congratulations! We ban gay propaganda and gay adoptions, you make all love equal!’ he added.

The propaganda will make it an offense to say gay relationships are equal to straight ones.

Any media or gay rights organization could be fined up to one million rubles ($30.8k, €23.2k) and shut down for 90 days, individuals could be fined up to 100,000 rubles ($3k, €2.3k) and foreigners could be fined the same amount, held in jail for 15 days and deported.

by Joe Morgan
Source – Gay Star News