Russia plans to expand ‘gay propaganda’ law to include adults

The existing legislation which censors LGBTQ+ content for minors was signed and introduced by Vladimir Putin in 2013.

LGBTQ+ community in Russia who are affected by gay propaganda law.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Officials in Russia have proposed expanding the country’s controversial so-called ‘gay propaganda’ law to include adults. Should it come to fruition, the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relationships” will be completely outlawed for the entire population, with lawmakers hoping to introduce it later this year.

The existing legislation introduced by Vladimir Putin in 2013 censors queer content for minors in the country. To date, it has been used to stamp out and intimidate LGBTQ+ advocates and prevent children from accessing inclusive media, among other things.

However, chairman of the State Duma’s information committee Alexander Khinshtein believes the law is now “insufficient”, and claims that lawmakers in Russia are considering expanding the  ‘gay propaganda’ law to include people of all ages.

“We propose to fully extend the ban on that sort of propaganda among audiences of all ages (offline, media outlets, the internet, social media, as well as in cinema theatres),” he wrote on Telegram.

According to Reuters, under the potential legislative changes, any event or act deemed to be promoting the LGBTQ+ community could result in a fine. Khinshtein stated that his committee will consider the proposal, and may even work to impose stricter punishments for any violations of the law. 

Last week, Parliamentary Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that since Russia had left the Council of Europe human rights watchdog, it can now ban the promotion of “non-traditional values”. 

“Demands to legalise same-sex marriages in Russia are a thing of the past,” he said. “Attempts to impose alien values on our society have failed.”

President Putin aligns himself with the Orthodox Church which rejects same-sex relationships, and he has put his conservative values at the forefront of his political regime, even using them to justify the Ukrainian invasion.

In the recent ‘Rainbow Europe’ index published by ILGA-Europe, Russia ranked third to last in the list of the continent’s most LGBT-friendly nations.

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