Russian officials have expressed anger
at U.S. criticism of a proposed bill in St. Petersburg, Russia's
second largest city, that would outlaw “gay propaganda,” the
The bill, written by Vilatly Milonov of
the dominant United Russia party, would criminalize “public actions
aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality and
transgenderism among minors.” The bill proposes fining offenders
up to $1,600.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria
Nuland told reporters last week that 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.”
Konstantin Dolgov, foreign ministry
representative for human rights, told the Interfax news agency that
the comments were “inappropriate.”
“We view with bewilderment the
American side's attempts to interfere, what's more, publicly, in the
lawmaking process,” Dolgov said.
Gay rights activists have condemned the
bill, saying it could be used to ban their campaigns.
A second reading of the bill originally
scheduled for November 30 is likely to be postponed until December 4,
Milonov earlier told reporters.