Russia Taking Gay Gag Rule Nationwide


The infamous St. Petersburg gay gag rule may now be upstaged as Russia’s lower chamber on Thursday saw the introduction of a copycat nationwide measure.

Reports the AP:

The bill calls for fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,500) for “spreading homosexual propaganda” among minors.

The legislation was submitted Thursday to the State Duma by lawmakers from the central Novosibirsk region who blamed media for promoting gay lifestyles as “normal behavior.”

The legislation’s attached notes emphasize that its supporters believe the legislation is necessary to guard against exposing young people to the idea that homosexuality is normal, saying that the younger generation needs to be protected “from the effects of homosexual propaganda” and that it is especially dangerous for children and adolescents who cannot critically evaluate such information.

The sponsors of the bill offer that, in this regard, the bill is a matter of child welfare and therefore should not be treated as being a threat to citizens’ rights.

According to a BBC report from the region the fines break down on a sliding scale similar to that of the St Petersburg law, going from 4,000 rubles for individuals, up to the 500,000 rubles for legal entities.

The Duma rejected a measure like this in 2009, but the political climate in Russia is now very different and rights groups fear that the bill may this time gain traction.

Indeed, Interfax reports that the Speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, Sergei Naryshkin, promised that, if such a bill was forwarded to the State Duma, deputies would treat it “very seriously.” The report notes, however, that lawmakers feel the issue is “sensitive.”

GayRussia activist Nikolai Alekseev has indicated that from a legal point of view he believes the law to be dangerous given that the three regions that have enacted similar laws have done so with no agreed definition on what the law actually bans, and this legislation fails to offer any such explanation. He warned BBC Russia: “It gives law enforcement agencies and the courts the right to independently and freely interpret what ‘promotion of homosexuality among minors’ [means].”

Other LGBT rights leaders have also voiced their concern. Reports On Top Magazine:

Polina Savchenko, director of the St. Petersburg-based gay rights group Coming Out, said the new law would make it illegal to mention the sexuality of famous gay Russians.

“This radical law undermines the great legacy of our city’s past and future. If it passes, it would be illegal to mention that famed Russian composer of the 1812 Overture, St. Petersburg native Tchaikovksy, was gay,” said Savchenko. “This law installs a culture of censorship in what was once Russia’s most cosmopolitan city and is a huge blow to the freedom of expression in Russia. At a time when people all over the world are opening up and coming out, this law puts Russia back in the closet.”

European leaders have already censured Russia for such legislation, saying they “strongly” condemn such laws.

St. Petersburg Governor Gregory Poltavchenko signed the region’s gag rule earlier this month.

The Duma proposal’s associated documents can be found here.


Related stories:

Moscow Now Proposing Anti-Gay Law

Russian Gay Activist Attacked While Police Look On

Russian Politicians Ban ‘Gay Propaganda,’ Hire Trans Prostitutes

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Bernt Rostad.

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KS Goh
KS Goh3 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Sam Richardson

This is so sad, I really feel for the gay community in Russia. When so much of the rest of the world is moving to embrace all parts of society, Russia is clearly still wanting to rule with the iron fist of White Male Heterosexual Privilege, to the cost of everyone else.

Jonathan Netherton

I actually got a missive from that department the Duma convened to try to get whites to return to and move to Russia.

I told them to f$$k off. And they had no idea why.

From the Diaspora, to the Romanovs, to the military junta feigning at a planned economy they called "communism", to Czar Putin and his IMF buddies, Russia has always been a crass, coarse land of bigots, thieves and butchers. Like anywhere, there's good people, and probably plenty of them. But still, WTF Russkis?

Tony C.
Tony C.3 years ago

A class in RESPECT AND RESPONSIBILITY should be taught from Grade one to graduation, children should be taught that anything is permissible as long as it does not hurt themselves or anybody else. Common sense would dictate that if children are taught at a very early age that every child has their own strengths and weaknesses and that they should use their strengths to help not tease or bully others. It should not matter if a child comes from a FAMILY of a mother and father, 2 mothers or 2 fathers or a single mother or father as long as they are LOVED.
Sex Education should be taught from LGBT, Contraceptives, Masturbation, Pregnancy and all forms of sex. Let us face it whether we like it or not children are curious and are having sex earlier and earlier. Children should be taught the joys and the consequences of having sex ( Pregnancy, STD, AIDS and others.) But you say when will this be taught. Cut out Geography or History early on then put it back in and remove Geometry or Algebra. They can learn this in college if needed. I believe this is a solution. Stopping the damage before it starts so that Bullying, Sexual Assault, and many others will be greatly diminished if not eradicated. It is my belief that when children graduate with these principals where they are taught RESPECT for themselves and others and to take RESPONSIBILITY for their actions. If children grow up with these principals I believe business and government would benefit greatly. Within a few generations

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

Time for EU economic sanctions?

Gene Jacobson
Gene Jacobson3 years ago

So, Vladimir Putin, who is doing his best to turn Russia into a terrorist state whose main economic engine is supplying arms to other terrorist states is a homophobe too. What a surprise. I'd like to see Russian expatriates, who are living around the world, including many getting fabulously wealthy in America, athletes many, speak out against this move, this crime against humanity. They are silent on what their home country is exporting but should not remain so on human rights issues - the Iron Curtain fell, unfortunately its shadow is still keeping the light of love from shining on that area of the world. That needs to change.

Wim Zunnebeld
Wim Zunnebeld3 years ago

thx for the info!

Wim Zunnebeld
Wim Zunnebeld3 years ago

thx for the info!

Bill C.
Bill C.3 years ago

"Interesting" title