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Russia moves to tighten restrictions under ‘gay propaganda’ law

Russian parliament on Monday moved to expand the 2013 ban on the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, widely referred to as the “gay propaganda” bill. The draft bill with measures similar to what state Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin proposed earlier this month was published on parliament’s website.

On July 8, Volodin spoke in favour of a broad ban on disseminating information on LGBTQ relationships after Russia quit the Council of Europe, a human rights watchdog, in March. He said that Russia would now be able to 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.”

“With the exit from the Council of Europe, demands to legalize same-sex marriages in Russia have become a thing of the past. Attempts to impose alien values on our society have failed,” Volodin wrote on Telegram.

The head of the State Duma’s information committee, Alexander Khinshtein, said on his Telegram social media channel last week that the they propose to generally extend the ban on such propaganda regardless of the age of the audience.

All you need to know about the gay propaganda bill in 5 points:

The existing “gay propaganda” law was passed in 2013 and has been used to stop gay pride marches and detain gay rights activists.

The new bill, introduced by a cross-party group of six Communist and socially conservative deputies, calls for tightening the already stringent restrictions on the discussion of LGBTQ rights and relationships.

It would ban public discussion of LGBTQ relationships in a positive or neutral light, and any LGBTQ content in cinemas.

Any event or act regarded as an attempt to promote homosexuality could incur a fine.

Anti-war Russian journalist Yury Dud was recently fined 120,000 roubles ($2,024) by a Moscow court under the “gay propaganda” law.

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