Russia’s lower house of parliament passed a law expanding its ban on so-called ‘LGBT propaganda’ to all adults.
Under the new legislation, which had its third and final reading in the Duma on 24 November, any event or act viewed as an attempt to “promote” homosexuality could result in a fine of up to 400,000 roubles (£5,472) for individuals and 4,000,000 roubles (£68,400) for legal entities.
Foreigners in the country could be subjected to 15 days of arrest and possible expulsion from Russia.
The discriminatory bill will now be forwarded to the Federation Council (the upper house of Parliament) before President Vladimir Putin signs it into law.
Russians will be restricted from “praising” homosexuality or publicly suggesting that homosexuals are “normal” under the legislation.
The proposed ban covers public acts, online content, film, books and advertising.
“LGBT today is an element of hybrid warfare and in this hybrid warfare we must protect our values, our society and our children,” Alexander Khinstein, one of the law’s architects, said in October of this year.
The Equal Rights Coalition stated that the “so-called anti-propaganda law is a further attempt by the Russian authorities to create a climate of fear and intimidation, and restrict the freedom of expression of all Russians.”
"The so-called anti-propaganda law is a further attempt by the Russian authorities to create a climate of fear and intimidation, and restrict the freedom of expression of all Russians."
— FCDO Inclusive (@FCDOInclusive) November 24, 2022
The original version of the law was signed by Vladimir Putin in 2013 and put a ban on the promotion of all “non-traditional” sexual relationships among minors.
It has since been used as justification to stop Pride marches, prevent minors from watching content with LGBTQ+ themes and to detain activists.
Despite homosexuality being legal in Russia since 1993, LGBTQ+ people face ongoing societal challenges in the country.
Hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity are not prohibited by law, and no anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ exist.