Home News In Russia, MPs pass a law strengthening the ban on LGBT + “propaganda”

In Russia, MPs pass a law strengthening the ban on LGBT + “propaganda”

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Russian deputies adopted amendments on Thursday 24 November which considerably broaden the scope of a law prohibiting the “propaganda” LGBT +, in the midst of the Kremlin’s conservative turn accompanying its military offensive in Ukraine.

This new law, which is an expanded version of a much criticized 2013 text banning “propaganda” LGBT + with minors, now prohibited from “to promote non-traditional sexual relations” to all audiences, in the media, on the Internet, in books and in films.

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This broad scope, together with the broad interpretation permitted by the vague concept of ” promotion “ raise fears of an increased crackdown on LGBT+ communities in Russia, who already face heavy discrimination.

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“Promoting non-traditional sexual relations is prohibited (…) A ban on the promotion of pedophilia and gender change has also been introduced”said in a statement the head of the lower house of parliament (Duma), Vyacheslav Volodin. “The fines amount to 10 million rubles” (about 160,000 euros) for offenders, he added.

For the text to become law, it must still be validated by the upper house of Parliament, the Council of the Federation, and signed by President Vladimir Putin, which constitutes formalities.

The defense of “traditional” values

Passage of new law comes after years of crackdown on LGBT+ communities, with Kremlin portraying itself as defender of values “traditional” facing a West presented as decadent.

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In the context of the conflict in Ukraine, this law is also portrayed as a means of ” defend “ Russia against an onslaught of Western countries on the level of values.

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This law “will protect our children and the future of this country from the darkness spread by the United States and European countries. We have our own traditions and values”Vyacheslav Volodin said on Thursday.

In addition to LGBT + people, this law also worries actors in the cinema and literature, who fear a reinforcement of an already very strong censorship. The cult novel “Lolitas”by Vladimir Nabokov, could for example be banned.

“The sale of goods containing prohibited information” will now be banned and “Films that promote relationships (“non-traditional”, editor’s note) will not receive a distribution certificate”according to the Duma website.

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