Russian Duma looks at extension on ban on LGBT propaganda

10-06-2022

Eastern Europe

Lennart Nijenhuis, CNE.news

LGBT activist detained by the Russian police. Photo EPA, Sergei Ilnitsky

The Russian ban on propagating non-traditional sexual relationships might be extended. A proposal to change the Criminal Code is tabled at the Russian State Duma. The ban should not be applied to minors only anymore but to the general public. The penalties on breaking the regulations will get higher too.

The new draft was initiated by the legislative assembly of Svastopol, Interfax reports. According to the assembly, "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations in the form of disseminating information making non-traditional relations more attractive" should be forbidden. The assembly finds that this "propaganda" promotes a “distorted vision of the social equivalence of traditional and non-traditional sexual relations."

The draft proposes heavy punishments for anyone who breaks its rules. Any civilian who violates the bill's regulations can be punished with a fine between approximately 620 and 778 euros. Public officials who break the new legislation will even face penalties of up to 8000 euros. If information propagating non-traditional relationships is spread via the internet or social media, the fines are even higher.

Also, foreigners can be punished according to the draft law. In addition to fines ranging between 100,000 rubles and 500,000 rubles, they can be deported from Russia.

“Bill not meant to interfere in personal sexual lives”

Currently, the Russian state already has a "gay propaganda" ban. However, this legislation – contrary to the new proposal, which is supposed to ban LGBT propaganda in general – aims more at the exhibition of LGBT materials to children. Individuals who expose minors to "gay propaganda" can be fined up to 77 euros. In comparison, officials can be punished with up to approximately 12,300 euros fines at the moment.

At the same time, the initiators behind the new bill stress that they do not aim to interfere with people's personal sexual lives. It is not intended to interfere in the "sphere of individual autonomy, including sexual self-determination of a person, or to ban or officially condemn non-traditional sexual relations", the bill reads.

Ban on sex advertisements

Meanwhile, in St Petersburg, the local authorities plan to submit a bill to the State Duma, which proposes to ban the advertisements of sexual services. That is reported by Interfax. With the proposal, the deputies want to resist the surge of advertisements for intimate services.

According to the bill, citizens who post an advertisement like that should be fined an amount ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 rubles. In comparison, officials would have to pay a fine of between 100,000 and 500,000 rubles.

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