Russia prepares to advance ‘anti-gay’ bill
MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia’s parliament was expected Friday to give initial backing to a bill banning homosexual “propaganda” among minors that could lead to gays being fined for demonstrating or kissing in public.
The highly contentious measure is based on local laws passed in President Vladimir Putin’s native city of Saint Petersburg last year and in several other Russian regions.
The ruling United Russia party has now horrified rights activists by proposing a federal law that is now being considered by the State Duma lower house of parliament.
The Duma’s family affairs committee chair Yelena Mizulina said she backed a nationwide law that “protected minors from the consequences of homosexuality.
“The unbridled propaganda of homosexuality anywhere you look effectively limits the child’s right to free development,” said Mizulina in televised comments to journalists ahead of the bill reading.
Homosexuality was only decriminalised after the end of the Soviet era and top officials and lawmakers continue to express homophobic views in public.