Russia's State Duma has approved a bill
which seeks to outlaw gay propaganda.
The measure is modeled after a law
which took effect last year in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg's law
criminalizes “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty,
lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors.” It also
bans public events that promote gay rights, such as Gay Pride parades
and gay rights demonstrations.
The push for a national law comes amid
rising homophobia in Russia. Two men were brutally murdered
allegedly over their sexual orientation in recent weeks.
tortured, murdered in Russia after coming out gay and Gay
man murdered in Russia's Far East.)
Yelena Mizulina, the bill's coauthor,
said it was was needed to protect children.
“[The bill prohibits] the spreading
of information aimed at forming nontraditional sexual attitudes among
children, attractiveness of nontraditional sexual relations, or a
distorted perception of social equality between traditional and
nontraditional sexual relations,” Mizulina
is quoted as telling colleagues by Reuters. “Secondly, [it
prohibits] the imposition of information about nontraditional sexual
relations that may cause interest in them among children.”
Police broke up clashes outside the
chamber between gay rights advocates and social conservatives.
One supporter, Vladislav, said that he
was “against the homosexual lobby in our country.”
“I am here because I am against it,”
he said. “I am against homosexuals as a phenomenon, not only in
Russia, but in the rest of the world.”
The bill now heads to the Federal
Council, the upper chamber of parliament.