The State Duma voted 434-0 with one abstention on Tuesday to approve the bill, which imposes hefty fines for holding gay pride rallies or providing information about the LGBT community to minors.
The last time the Duma read the bill, it also passed with ease, but this time was a cakewalk in comparison. The bill now needs to be approved by the upper house before being signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.
Considering that Putin is rearing to sign a ban on same-sex adoption, the propaganda bill is all but assured.
The only other change to the final version of the bill was the use of the vague-sounding “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” instead of “homosexuality,” defining propaganda as the “distorted image of equality of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships.”
So basically this could get you in trouble:
LGBT organizations will find it nearly impossible to operate being that by definition they could be subject to a 1 million ruble ($30,790) fine and suspension of all activity. Individuals could face a 5000 ruble ($166) fine.
Gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev called the law an “incitement to genocide” against LGBT people. “The State Duma is following a trend of the government trying to appeal to the illiterate, who are very homophobic,’ Alekseev told Gay Star News. “It cannot get worse. People are getting killed because they are gay. No one really cares in the government.”
Ahead of the vote, gay rights activists attempted to hold a kiss-in outside the State Duma, which quickly escalated into violence as hundreds of Orthodox Christian activists and members of pro-Kremlin youth groups attacked them. The AP reports:
The mostly burly young men with closely cropped hair pelted them with eggs while shouting obscenities and homophobic slurs. Riot police moved in, detaining more than two dozen protesters, almost all of them gay rights activists. Some who were not detained were beaten by masked men on a central street about a mile away.
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association of Europe (ILGA-Europe) condemned the law and urged European and international institutions to “consider meaningful actions again Russia demanding to repeal this law and to stop state-sponsored homophobia in the country.”
The law is expected to go into effect by the end of the month.