Officials at the U.S. State Department
have reiterated their support for gay rights while discussing a
proposed bill in Russia that would outlaw “gay propaganda.”
Lawmakers in St. Petersburg, Russia's
second largest city, on Wednesday postponed a debate on the bill
proposed by the dominant United Russia Party. The measure received
overwhelming support during its first reading last week.
The bill, written by Vilatly Milonov,
would criminalize “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty,
lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors.” The bill
proposes fining offenders up to $1,600.
Milonov said talks broke down after
lawmakers failed to agree on the bill's “legal definitions” and
State Department spokeswoman Victoria
Nuland on Tuesday said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would
object to such a law.
“I think you know the principled
stand that the United States Government takes on this issue and that
the Secretary of State in particular takes on this issue, which is
that gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights,”
she said. “And so I don't think the Russian Government could have
any question about where we would stand on such an issue.” (The
video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)