The Russian parliament will this week vote on legislation which seeks to ban all public displays of affection by gay couples.
If the proposed legislation passes it will mean that couples caught kissing or holding hands in public could be fined or imprisoned for up to two weeks.
The new legislation, which expands on 2013 ‘gay propaganda bill’ will impose a fine of up to 5,000 rubles,(€58) for the “public expression of nontraditional sexual relations, resulting in the public demonstration of one’s own distorted sexual preferences in public places.”
An additional punishment of 15 days in jail can be applied if the display of affection takes place in a school or other place where children congregate, the punishment may include 15 days in jail
However, it is not known for certain if the bill will become law, reports The Washington Post. Despite being on the parliament’s debate schedule for Friday, the Duma’s legal committee called the bill ambiguous and said that it was unclear as to how it would be enforced.
“Let them do whatever they want under the covers,” said Communist Party’s Ivan Nikitchuk one of the bill’s sponsors in the Duma, in an interview with Russian-language news site Meduza.
“But we are stopping them from exhibiting their demonic desires, which the West would force on us…” he added.
“Excuse me, this is Russia. We have a country where tradition has always been respected, where people have had and continue to have a conscience, an understanding of shame. And all these kissing bearded men do not evoke anything besides vomit.”
He also clarified that the ‘public spaces’ referred to in the bill would include “anywhere, where you’re not alone: the street, the metro, and so forth.”
The Duma will debate the bill on January 22.
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