Canada Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has told members of the House of Commons that he's concerned over St. Petersburg's “gay propaganda” law.

The law, which took effect Saturday, 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.

Supporters say the law is designed to protect children.

According to The Canadian Press, Baird told lawmakers that the law runs counter to Canadian values of freedom of speech, human rights and the rule of law.

“Canada's ambassador has written to the Russian government to express our deep concern and, yes, we have at his request, put a travel advisory on our website,” Baird said.

On the site, visitors to St. Petersburg, a top travel destination, are “advised to avoid displaying affection in public, as homosexuals can be targets of violence.”