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St Petersburg Gov Signs Anti-LGBT Censorship Law

St Petersburg Gov Signs Anti-LGBT Censorship Law

 

St. Petersburg governor Georgiy Poltavchenko has signed into law a ban on positive discussion of LGBT identity in the public sphere.

Lawmakers in St. Petersburg passed the legislation to international outcry last month. It was hoped that with several campaigns, including a concerted effort by Care2 members, Governor Poltavchenko might abandon the legislation. Sadly, it emerged over the weekend that the governor has signed the bill into law.

The law is designed to prevent the “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism”. The legislation includes a ban on gay positive messages in public and would serve to virtually ban gay pride events.

For breaking this law there is a fine of 5,000 rubles ($170) for individuals, and for officials 50,000 rubles ($1,725). The fine for legal entities has increased tenfold since the original version of the legislation, from 50,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles ($17,250).

The European Union has already adopted a resolution “strongly” condemning the law. Human rights activists within the country have also spoken out against the legislation.

Said a spokesperson for St. Petersburg LGBT organization Coming Out:

Authors of the law maintain that it is designed to “protect children from information that can harm their physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual development”. The term “propaganda” is defined as any uncontrolled and targeted distribution of information through any accessible means to minors that can […] form an incorrect perception of social equivalence between traditional and non-traditional conjugal relations”. Authorities project “traditional values” and clerical rhetoric onto politics, and prioritize “interests of majority” over the value of human individuality. We realize that today, fascist-like rhetoric in Russia is becoming basis for legislative activity.

In fact, this law has little to do with protecting minors. Today, neither homosexual people, nor human rights defenders, nor lawyers can answer the question of how this law is going to be applied in practice, due to its vague nature and non-legal terminology. To talk about existence of homosexuality, to publicly denounce homophobic violence, to develop sense of self-awareness and dignity in homosexual people, to promote tolerance – all of these acts can fall under the “propaganda” law. This law will serve directly to further isolate and marginalize the gay community and encourage hate towards a social group.

60 years ago philosopher and founder of totalitarianism theory, Hannah Arendt, said that in a totalitarian state, citizens are “either victims or executioners and the movement by its ideology seeks to prepare them to fill either role.” Handing out of roles has begun: Russian authorities legalized discrimination of homosexuals. What will come next?

We are convinced that no authority can deprive people of their right to dignity, to respect of private and family life, to freedom of expression and to protection from discrimination and violence. We are offended and outraged by this act by city authorities and will continue fighting for the rights of LGBT citizens until the barbaric law is repealed.

Similar laws to this were implemented in 2006 in Ryazan, in Arkhangelsk in September 2011, and in the Kostroma region in December of 2011.

There has also been the suggestion that Russia’s ruling party may now attempt to pass similar legislation in the State Duma, the federal parliament.

 

Related stories:

Moscow Now Proposing Anti-Gay Law

Russian Gay Activist Attacked While Police Look On

Russian Politicians Ban ‘Gay Propaganda,’ Hire Trans Prostitutes

 

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to antonella.beccaria

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35 comments

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12:51PM PDT on Mar 18, 2012

It is 2012 people. Have you turned on a TV, and seen what is happening in Syria? I am gay, and I promise you, we are not that dangerous. We have bigger 'problems'.

11:30PM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Alexandra F. , thank you for your opinion
For all others - I do not hate gays. But I would not want see and hear theis aggressive propaganda every day. There's no problem if they love each other, but it becomes problem when they attract neophyts from kids and teenagers.

12:46AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Oh you know what? Blond people make me soooo sick! Let's create a petition and ask governments to outlaw blonds. It would also be wonderful to ban naturally curly hair because most people have straight hair and can't stand to see curly people walking around displaying their curly hair and propagating it, of course. What if our children see them!!! Gosh! This is such a shame, it makes me wanna puke! What if my children become curly!?

Now seriously. The true ban should be put on green eyes. Period.

6:33PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

Homophobic moron!

5:39PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

Alexandra F. The world would be a much better place if people like you and the pedophile Catholic church stayed in the closet so the rest of us aren't disgusted by your ugliness.

4:40PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

For a minute, I thought this had happened in the States. While I'm glad it isn't in this country, I still think it is criminal of any public official to ban anyone from being and expressing who they are. Being Gay (or lesbian or trans or bi-sexual) is not a life choice or a disease. It is who the individual is, the way they were born. The way GOD made them. Why can't people understand that?

4:22PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

@Alexandra...you think being gay is a "trend"??? Really??? Grow a brain, little girl. What are you, 12? Gays are here to stay. Deal with it. People who think like you are a dying breed, and I can only hope I'll be there to see it when you're all gone, or when you wake up and realize just how foolish you've been.

4:02PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

It is no surprise to see ignorance in other countries as there is here in the U.S.A. It is not 'sexual orientation' or those that are "out" that is cause for concern. It is those that masquerade as something they are not. Just as 'most' men don't go around raping women, men and little girls or boys, and 'most' Priests don't abuse little boys and girls - most LGBT don't either. It is absolutely ignorant to vilify ANY group of people for not being "like you". There are good and bad in all 'categories' that are assigned to other people. Be 'concerned' about those who 'pretend' to be "all good".

2:47PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

Alexandra...you and Dawid make a fine pair of closet cases! If you don't want something shoved/rammed down your throat, DON'T OPEN YOUR MOUTH!

I could say that I'm disgusted and sick of having your straight/hetro lifestyle thrown in front of my face every day! Also, for someone who's so close to "puking", you sure have a wild imagination of what two men or two women do together? I find that so amusing that you so-called Christians talk more about and THINK more about gay or lesbian sex than gays or lesbians!!

Miss Dawid, keep your bigoted opinions to yourself! Your only proving yourself more and more to be GAY! We all know you are! I feel really sorry for you, for you seem so obligated to visit the LGBT forums! Never see you in any of the other forums except ones like this! You must be so pre-occupied with the whole thing!

Either come out of the closet, or get a life!!

12:37PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

So Russia has joined the GOP in the head-long march into the Dark Ages. How sad. Wonder how many Republicans can see the irony that they now have more in common with their old Soviet Nemesis than they do with the majority of America.

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