Russian parliament votes to strengthen homophobic laws

Russian parliament votes to strengthen homophobic laws
LGBT-Demonstration against the war in Ukraine and Russia in Saint-Petersburg. Credit: InkBoB/Wikimedia Commons

Russian deputies voted in favour of strengthening the law against so-called “LGBT propaganda” on Thursday in another boost for the conservative hard-line of Putin’s regime amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“During the plenary session, deputies of the State Duma unanimously adopted the first reading of the amendments to the legislation prohibiting the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations,” the Russian parliament announced on its website.

The 2013 law banning “LGBT propaganda” towards children has thus been reinforced by a ban on the “denial of family values” and “promotion of non-traditional sexual orientations” among adults as well.

This law concerns “the media, internet, literature, and cinema” and even advertising. “Films promoting non-traditional sex will not receive a distribution certificate,” the Duma warned.

Two further readings are still scheduled in the upper house of parliament, the Council of the Federation, which will study the amendments and submit it for signature by Russian President Vladimir Putin. With the Russian parliament almost entirely dominated by Putin loyalists, this move is typically a formality.

Offences against the new law will be met with heavy fines and foreign nationals found in breach may be subject to expulsion, the Duma noted. Russia has launched a conservative crusade against what Vladimir Putin has declared the “decadence” of Western society and values.

In addresses made by the Russian leader since the start of its aggression against Ukraine, Putin has made numerous references to transsexuality and gender identity as pretext for waging war against Ukraine and its allies.

Russian propagandists have attempted to frame its war as a fight against the Western world in its attempt to corrupt Russia with perceived immorality. To recall, Russia has one of the highest divorce, abortion, and atheism rates in Europe.

Rainbow Europe ranks Russia as the fourth most oppressive country against the LGBTI community in Europe, behind Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Armenia.

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