Russian Duma Overwhelmingly Passes Ban On “Gay Propaganda”

moscowOut of 390 Members of Parliament in Russia’s Lower House, 388 voted for a national ban on “homosexual propaganda” towards minors.

One  MP voted against and one abstained in the first reading of the bill.

RT.com reports:

The ban was submitted by deputies from the Novosibirsk Region in Siberia, who had earlier introduced similar local regulations. If approved, it would introduce heavy fines for the promotion of homosexuality among children. Those found guilty of the offence could be fined up to 5000 roubles (about $160), but the fines increase 10-fold for officials and 100-fold for companies.

Russia’s LGBT community strongly opposes the ban, claiming the law lacks a specific definition of what constitutes said propaganda.

“The law absolutely does not define what gay propaganda is and the reasons are understandable because gay propaganda does not exist,” gay rights activist Yelena Kostyuchenko told the AP. “In that respect, any information on, as the law puts it, ‘equal values of traditional and unorthodox marital relations’ is considered ‘gay propaganda’.”

Peaceful protests and kiss-ins turned violent earlier this week as people representing “traditional values” attacked the gay activists. Violence broke out again today as the MPs began hearings on the bill, with gay activists and Orthodox Christian opponents smearing each other with paint and spraying tear gas. Police soon intervened and detained about 20 people.

Yelena Mizulina, head of the parliamentary committee for family affairs, said the State Duma would start working on amendments to the bill  and that the team preparing the second reading will include at least one representative from the LGBT community. Mizulina added she hoped to pass the final draft of the bill by early July.

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  • Eric Auerbach

    Ugh. Russia.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Banning something makes people more interested in it.

  • LadyL

    Ah, Russia. Moving forward toward the 18th Century.

  • Ron Jackson

    Well! Apparently Russia is becoming a conservative bible thumping utopia. Perhaps it’s time for all the disgruntled right wing pundits, NOM’s and gas bags from the civilized world to immigrate to Russia. I’m sure the Russians in Siberia would welcome them with open arms.

  • bmwblonde

    Look. For hundreds of years the Russians were either:
    (a) unbelievably cruel, entitled sociopaths (THEIR 1% —
    i.e., the Ari$tocrats) OR
    (b) unbelievably, hopeless, downtrodden feudal serfs
    (THEIR 99%).
    The Communist revolution of 1917 BRIEFLY looked like maybe
    the serfs would get rid of their Sociopathic overlords,
    but that is NOT what happened. A new, “re-shaped” group
    of elite sociopathic despots immediately appeared to take
    the place of the Tzars (Lenin, Stalin, et.al.).

    Since the U.S.S.R. “fell” (1991), we have seen that most
    Russians have not begun to “get over” their centuries of
    training to be misled, robbed, screwed and sometimes
    tortured by despots. Putin is just the latest sociopathic,
    totally whack-job despot. Such a leader is perfect for
    most Russians “comfort level.”
    Their world view is: “We are TOTALLY MISERABLE,” and
    their only “answer” is to make everyone else as miserable
    as THEY are.
    So to be “shocked, shocked, shocked” at Russian homophobia,
    is to be a teensy bit naive. The Russians have had any real
    understanding of “freedom” (for anyone) stomped out of them
    centuries ago. Horribly tragic. An existential nightmare.
    And a “culture” (where all the inmates in a crazy bin think
    they are normal, because they are crazy the same way).
    But surprising? NOT.

  • Derek Williams

    What a shower these ignoramuses are. A clear and flagrant example of Tyranny of the Majority. Either something is seriously wrong with the Russian education system to have inculcated such rank stupidity, or Stalin’s purges alongside centuries of oppression really did finally succeed in breeding intelligence out of the nation’s collective gene pool.

    Russian LGBT are hated and bated by the masses, yet as a minority numbering between 5-10%, we outnumber the military. Considering that if we all were to go back into the closet and become instantly invisible, the masses are lucky we haven’t so far become terrorists because as such we could wreak havoc.

    For now, I congratulate the tiny but courageous minority who are publicly putting themselves in harm’s way in their struggle against the people of Russia. I hope you prevail,however I strongly suspect the long term interests of LGBT and indeed the remnants of the intelligentsia will be best served by continuous mass diaspora to the West and to Freedom.

  • johnkcopley

    Not surprised or shocked. Maggie Thatcher introduced “section 28” in the 1980s to “protect children” from “gay propaganda”. Thankfully abolished by Blair in the late 1990s early noughties. But alas I don’t think Russia are 30 years behind us; more like 300. Very depressing. At least those people in the Midwest or in the more conservative European backwaters can move to NYC, San Fran, London, Frankfurt, Brighton, Manchester… What can a poor gay boy from Siberia do? Bring back the Cold War all is forgiven.

  • Throbert McGee

    I wonder how many of the comments above are by ex-Soviet emigres — whose angry generalizations about “stupid homophobic Russians” would be, at least, understandable, and based on their first-hand experience — and how many are from people whose knowledge of Russian thinking comes primarily from _Red Dawn_?

    (I don’t dispute that Russian society remains very homophobic — the only truly “gay-friendly” straight Russians I’ve ever met have all been long-term naturalized citizens of the US or other Western countries, and thus have spent years NOT immersed in their native culture. But I’m not sure if the “progressive intelligentsia” in Russia is as small as some people seem to believe.)

    P.S. A Russian acquaintance once said to me that “The harshness of Russia’s legal code is somewhat mitigated by the fact that it is so haphazardly enforced.” In other words, the current ban MAY in fact be very damaging to the free speech of Russian gays, or it MAY turn out to be just a seldom enforced dog-biscuit thrown to the “fundies” within the Orthodox Church. (As Russians say about themselves, _Umom Rossiyu ne ponyat’_, loosely “Don’t expect tidy logical consistency from us”!)

    P.P.S. It’s also worth remembering the condescendion and stereotypes about gays that could be found in the editorial pages of the _NY Times_ only a half-century ago…

  • Throbert McGee

    One other comment — in the U.S., it’s not unheard of for “godfearing law-and-order” politicians to support bills that they probably know full well to be unconstitutional and/or that they suspect will never really be passed, just so that their constituents will give them “moral credit” for backing the measure. (Yet they expect not to be *blamed* for the unconstitutional law, because they expect that those damned liberal judicial activists will obliging strike it down.)

    So, again, while this bill is very disappointing and insultingly homophobic, I would avoid rushing to conclusions about (a) whether it will really become law, and (b) if so, to what extent the law will affect LGBT Russians in practice.

  • Doug Flynn

    ?????? ????????? ??????????. ??????! ??? ????? ??? ????? ? ??? ????????? ? ???? ?? ??????? ??? ?????. ??,??? ?????? ?????? ??? ???? ???. ?? ?????? ?????! ?? ?????????? ??????? ???!

  • Doug Flynn

    Sorry, I wrote in Russian. Apparently the system doesn’t recognize the Cyrillic alphabet. Concisely, I wrote everything old is new again.

  • titansweet

    My gosh! This is the most troubling and saddening news I have read most recently. Why are they going backwards? I thought predominately religious countries were the one’s acting like this, but Russia has been pretty much atheistic and non-religious and communist as their religion and yet they adapt to something totally different to modernization and tolerance towards those born a certain way?

  • hephaestion

    There are many obviously gay people on Russian TV. But Russia’s government is run by thugs who are just like America’s Republican Party in every way.

  • bmwblonde

    For Throbert McGee — My previous comment (see above) is that of a Harvard-trained history professor. At least I am not an “embittered recent Russian emigre” — both sides of my family have been in the USA since the 1650’s. And, my comments were not a condemnation of the Russian PEOPLE — just of their horrible and punishing history and “culture” which victimizes them. Studying history is an amazing thing. Try it some time.

  • brent

    Yes, the legacy of communism. The great irony is that western progressive, liberal types spent so much of the 20th century defending the likes of Stalin, Castro etc. I guess that means Ronald Reagan had it right on communism.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    bmwblonde, you brag too much.

  • Billysees

    @1EqualityUSA: 2

    That’s true.

  • Billysees

    All comments here are very interesting.

    I like Dmitry Medvedev myself.

    There seems to be greater hope with young minds.

    He seems progressive like Mikhail Gorbachev.

    Maybe he’ll get to become a leader in Russia again and then he can turn things around.

    Am I being naive?

    That’s me…….lol…….lol.

  • Nikkidane

    How sad for the LGBT people in Russia. This is like turning back the clock 200 years.

  • jwrappaport

    For shame. And to think this is the land that birthed Tchaikovsky, the gayest and “most Russian of us all” (to borrow some of Stravinsky’s words).

Comments are closed.