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Russia: Deputies Pass New Law Against “LGBT Propaganda”

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A text that further toughens the living conditions of LGBT+ people. Russian MPs on Thursday passed a new law expanding the scope of crackdowns on “LGBT propaganda” in public space, which until now has only targeted minors.

This broad scope, as well as the broad interpretation allowed by the vague term “promotion”, raises fears of increased repression against LGBT+ communities in Russia, which already face severe discrimination.

“Promotion of non-traditional sexual relations is prohibited (…) This decision will protect our children and the future of this country from the darkness spread by the United States and European countries,” the head of the chamber said in a statement. Parliament (Duma), Vyacheslav Volodin.

In particular, the law provides for fines of up to 10 million rubles, or about 160,000 euros. Fines for some offenses have been increased, sometimes quadrupled, and foreigners found guilty of these offenses may be expelled from the country, the text specifies.

Cultural works subject to this law

Among the new measures is a ban on the publication of films, advertisements, books and audiovisual services that “promote non-traditional sexual relations and preferences and gender reassignment.” The sale of this content is also prohibited, including foreign content, the TASS agency emphasizes. These measures will apply on the Internet as well, with the blocking of “forbidden sites” planned by Russian digital police Roskomnadzor.

This law applies not only to LGBT+ people, but also to film and literary actors who are afraid of an increase in the already very strict censorship. For example, Vladimir Nabokov’s cult novel Lolita may be banned.

For the text to become law, it still needs to be approved by the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, and signed by President Vladimir Putin, which is a formality. However, there is little doubt about the results of the vote in the second chamber and, therefore, about the forthcoming entry into force of the text.

Source: Le Parisien

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