International News

Russia passes ‘anti-gay’ propaganda law

Graham Robson November 25, 2022

The lower house of Russia’s parliament has passed the final reading of a bill that bans the promotion of ‘LGBT propaganda’ to children – including in films, books or advertising – expanding on a law that was adopted in 2013.

The bill aims to prevent Russians from promoting or ‘praising’ homosexual relationships or gender reassignment surgery or suggesting that they are ‘normal’.

Anyone who breaks the law will face a fine of up to 400,000 rubles (£5,466.47), while companies could have to pay up to 5 million rubles (£68,330.89).

Foreigners and stateless people risk being imprisoned or expelled from Russia if they do not comply.

Human rights campaigners and LGBTQ+ groups have said the extension means that any act or public mention of the LGBTQ+ community is being criminalised.

Kseniya Mikhailova of the Russia-based LGBTQ+ support group Vykhod (a play on words to mean ‘coming out’) said the original ban nine years ago triggered a wave of attacks on the gay community.

She told Reuters there would now be a “tsunami” of aggression because the amendment in effect “says the state is not against violence towards LGBT people”.