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 Montreal Gazette reported.

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.