St. Petersburg City Governor Georgy
Poltavchenko has signed a bill which outlaws “gay propaganda,”
the city announced on Sunday.
Poltavchenko signed the bill into law
on Wednesday, March 7 and it will take effect 10 days after being
officially published, Interfax
The law criminalizes “public actions
aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality and
transgenderism among minors.”
Offenders face a fine of up to $16,700
under the law first proposed by the dominant United Russia party.
The law effectively outlaws Gay Pride
parades and gay rights demonstrations.
More than 92,000 people signed an
petition calling on Poltavchenko to veto the bill.
Polina Savchenko, director of the St.
Petersburg-based gay rights group Coming Out, said the new law would
make it illegal to mention the sexuality of famous gay Russians.
“This radical law undermines the
great legacy of our city's past and future. If it passes, it would
be illegal to mention that famed Russian composer of the 1812
Overture, St. Petersburg native Tchaikovksy, was gay,” said
Savchenko. “This law installs a culture of censorship in what was
once Russia's most cosmopolitan city and is a huge blow to the
freedom of expression in Russia. At a time when people all over the
world are opening up and coming out, this law puts Russia back in the
States opposes Russia's “gay propaganda” bill.)