Russian house of parliament passes law banning 'LGBT propaganda' among adults

The bill expands the previous law banning "LGBT propaganda" among children, strengthening the repression against the Russian queer community.

The Russian Duma passed a new law banning LGBT Propaganda. In the photo, Russian LGBTQ+ activists protesting with signs and a Pride flag.
Image: Via Twitter - @ProudCSGG

On Thursday, November 24, the Russian State Duma passed a bill that would extend the law banning so-called “LGBT Propaganda” among people of all ages in the country.

After a first round of voting in October, the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, officially passed a law to expand the ban on “LGBT propaganda” to include adults. The new bill is an extension of the previous legislation introduced in 2013, which censored content about LGBTQ+ themes destined for minors. In the past, the legislation has frequently been used to intimidate and oppress the Russian LGBTQ+ community.

With the introduction of the new bill, any type of advertising, media, books, films or theatre productions deemed to promote LGBTQ+ themes could incur into sanctions and people found guilty of it could face heavy fines. The fines could reach 400’000 roubles (almost €6’400) for individuals and up to 5 million roubles (approximately €80’000) for legal entities.

Moreover, the expansion of the Russian law will allow officials to arrest foreigners found guilty of “LGBT Propaganda” for 15 days and subsequently deport them from the country. These measures will significantly harshen the repression that the LGBTQ+ community is already facing in Russia, as previous laws have repeatedly been used to stop Pride marches and other protests.

Now the bill will have to be passed by the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Council of the Federation, before being signed into law. Based on precedent and on the ongoing discussion around LGBTQ+ rights in Russia, there is little doubt that it will become law.

Speaking about the new law, President of the Duma Vjačeslav Volodin said to the lawmakers that it “will protect our children and the future of this country against the darkness spread by the United States and European countries”.

He echoed the words spoken last month by Alexander Khinstein, one of the architects of the bill, who said: “LGBT today is an element of hybrid warfare and in this hybrid warfare we must protect our values, our society and our children.”

Russia has often used anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric to position itself as an alternative to the “corrupt” and “decadent” West, represented by the European Union and the United States, and to paint itself as the protector of “traditional values”.

Commenting on the Duma’s vote, LGBT Network, a Russian organisation that offers legal aid, said that the legislation was an “absurd” attempt to humiliate and discriminate against the Russian LGBTQ+ community.

The NXF also condemned the new legislation on a Twitter post, calling it “A shameful escalation of state sponsored homophobic persecution by those waging a wider war on basic rights & freedoms”.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.