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Russia to Tighten Law on broadcast of ‘LGBT Propaganda’

Lawmakers propose total LGBT ban

By Fisayomi Ogunsakin

Russian Parliament on July 18, 2022 tightens the already stringent LGBT Propaganda Restriction Law aimed at protecting children from information that promotes same sex values.

On June 29, 2013, Russian President, Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law. The law was “Aimed at protecting children from information promoting the denial of traditional family values” and bans the ‘promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors’.

The law, also referred to as the ‘gay propaganda law’, bans the promotion of homosexuality or ‘LGBT propaganda’ by individuals or entities to children.
The ban includes but is not limited to information provided via the press, television, radio, and the internet.

Under the law, people found responsible for “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,” an administrative infraction, face fines of between 4,000 and 5,000 rubles (US$59 to $74); government officials face fines of 40,000 to 50,000 rubles (US$590 to US$735); and organizations, up to 1 million rubles (US$14,730) or temporary suspension of an organization’s activities for up to 90 days. Heavier fines may be imposed for the same actions if done through mass media and telecommunications, including the internet. Foreigners who violate the ban can be deported.

Russia’s parliament moved Monday 18th July, 2022 to tighten already stringent restrictions on the discussion of LGBTQ rights and relationships. The country’s lawmakers proposed a law aimed at extending the existing ban across all ages.

The proposed law would apply to all film, radio, press and internet content. Under the legislation, the penalty for promoting ‘nontraditional sexual relations and perversions’ would be double to 2 million Roubles($33,000) for entities, with the fine increasing up to 5 million Roubles if the offence took place Online or in the media. Individuals would face fines up to 400,000 Roubles and foreigners would still face deportation.

Authorities say they are defending morality in the face of what they argue to be ‘un-Russian liberal values promoted by the West’, but human right activists argue that the law serves as a means of intimidating the country’s LGBTQ community. Authorities had previously used the law to stop gay pride marches and detain gay rights activists. The latest proposals, if passed, would significantly widen the scope of this law.

Alexander Khinshtein, Head of the State Duma’s information committee said through his telegram social media channel ‘We propose to generally extend the ban on such propaganda, regardless of age (offline, in the media, internet/social networks and online cinemas’.)

In a ranking of Europe’s most LGBT-friendly nations in this year’s “Rainbow Europe” index compiled by ILGA-Europe, Russia was third from last.

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