Lawmakers in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, have postponed a debate on a bill that would outlaw “gay propaganda.”

The bill, which won overwhelming approval by lawmakers during its first reading last week, would criminalize “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors.” Offenders face a fine of up to $1,600 under the bill proposed by the dominant United Russia party.

The bill's author, Vilatly Milonov, said talks broke down after lawmakers failed to agree on the bill's “legal definitions” and fines imposed.

“We have decided to double-check all legal definitions related to this bill,” Milonov told reporters on Wednesday.

Gay rights activist have condemned the bill.

“It theoretically allows the ban of anything anywhere where kids could be present,” Nikolai Alekseev (also spelled Alexeyev), Russia's top gay rights activist, told The Associated Press. The bill would become “the main legal reason to deny any public actions by the LGBT community.”

A petition decrying the proposed legislation at has attracted nearly 200,000 signatures in just a few days.

Although homosexuality was decriminalized in 1993, anti-gay sentiment in Russia remains high. Banned gay pride parades and marches in Moscow have received the lion's share of media coverage, but officials have also cracked down on other events, including gay film festivals.