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.

(Related: Man 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.