State Duma Passes Law on “Gay Propaganda” in Third Reading

June 12, 2013
An unauthorized gay rights rally in Moscow in July 2012. (Photo: AP)

On Tuesday, June 11, the Russian State Duma passed a draft law in the second and third reading banning propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors, Parliament TV reports.

The law was passed in the third reading by 436 votes in favor.

Compared to the original version of the draft law, the term “homosexualism” was excluded and replaced with the phrase “non-traditional relations.” The law provides for punishment for the dissemination of information aimed at inculcating non-traditional sexual values in children, as well as the distribution of information that makes such relations attractive in their eyes and creates a “distorted concept of the social equivalency of traditional and non-traditional relations.”

According to the draft law, individuals who violate the law will be punished with a fine of 4,000 to 5,000 ($130-150) rubles, and from 50,000 to 100,000 ($1,500-3,000) rubles in the event that the propaganda of non-traditional relations is conducted through the media or the Internet. For legal persons, the fine can amount to up to one million rubles ($30,000). Foreign citizens caught propagandizing non-traditional relations can be expelled from the territory of Russia.

The federal law on propaganda of non-traditional relations came to the State Duma after similar regional laws were introduced in other Russian cities, including St. Petersburg.

On the day the law was passed at the second reading at the State Duma, opponents and supporters of the draft law gathered at the Russian parliament building. As a result of clashes between the two groups, several opponents of the draft law suffered, and activist Mariya Baronova was admitted to the hospital with blunt trauma of the stomach.