Russia & FSU

Russian ‘LGBTQ propaganda’ law signed by Putin explained

The new legislation mandates fines for anyone promoting non-traditional relations, pedophilia, and gender reassignmentRussian ‘LGBTQ propaganda’ law signed by Putin explained

Russian ‘LGBTQ propaganda’ law signed by Putin explained

Vladimir Putin attends a Security Council meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, December 2, 2022 ©  AP / Kremlin Pool Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a complete ban on ‘LGBTQ propaganda’, which criminalizes the distribution of material promoting non-traditional sexual relations, pedophilia, and transgenderism. The law also allows foreign offenders to be expelled from Russia.

Putin signed the bill on Monday, after it was approved by the upper and lower chambers of the Russian parliament late last month.

What does the law forbid?

The law bans the dissemination of LGBTQ materials to both “minors and adults,” and applies to “the media, the internet, literature and cinema,” according to a statement issued by the Duma last month.

The materials banned include content promoting non-traditional sexual relations or preferences, pedophilia, and transgenderism. 

Advertisers are also forbidden from depicting non-traditional sexual relations or preferences under the law.

How will offenders be punished?

Breaching the new regulations will result in a fine of up to 400,000 rubles ($6,600) for individuals and up to four million rubles ($66,000) for corporate entities. Foreign offenders will also be expelled from Russia.

As the bill made its way through several readings in the Duma, lawmakers rejected amendments that would introduce stiffer penalties for repeat offenders.

How does this differ from previous laws?

While a 2013 law banned the distribution of LGBTQ material to minors, the new law expands this ban to all ages, and covers content on pedophilia and gender transition, which were not explicitly regulated by the original act

How has Russia responded to Western criticism?

A group of 33 mostly Western states calling themselves the ‘Equal Rights Coalition’ accused Moscow of creating “a climate of fear and intimidation” among LGBTQ people and “impacting the human rights of all in Russia.” 

Russian Orthodox Church explains its attitude toward LGBT community

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the legislation “another serious blow to freedom of expression and the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons in Russia.”

Russia’s embassy in Washington condemned Blinken’s statement as “gross interference in our internal affairs,” adding that “Russia consistently stands for the protection of traditional family values” and rejects “attempts by Western states, led by the United States, to impose pseudo-liberal and perverted ideas about human rights on other countries.”


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