Russian lawmakers unanimously approved a bill that will ban all forms of LGBTQ “propaganda,” according to a final reading Thursday.
The approval comes amid President Vladimir Putin’s move to transform Russia into the antithesis of destructive Western liberal values.
The new bill will broaden Russia’s already existing laws banning so-called “gay propaganda” for minors, and effectively ban any public mention of gay relationships.
But Rights activists argue the new legislation ramps up the crackdown on LGBTQ relationships.
The law will affect all forms of media and also include books, social media posts and even drag shows.
Putin is continuing to push conservative values to rally his core constituency.
“Any propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations will have consequences,” Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, said on Telegram.
The legislation, he said, “will protect our children and the future of the country from the darkness spread by the US and European states.”
“We have our own traditions and values,” he added.
The bill also prohibits the “propaganda of pedophilia and sex change.”
The legislation bans LGBTQ “propaganda” in advertisements, books, media, and cinema.
Those caught violating the law could face hefty fines.
Here are the punishments for those who violate the new laws:
- Anyone found violating the laws by spreading LGBT “propaganda” to children faces fines of up to five million rubles (£69,977/$81,267) and four million rubles (£55,981/$65,014) if the recipients are adults.
- Foreigners who breach the law face being deported from the country and a 400,000 ruble (£5,598/$6,501) fine.
- Russians who promote pedophilia will face even harsher fines of up to ten million rubles (£139,966/$162,535).
Meanwhile, Russian film production companies and book publishers pushed back against the bill, saying it could ban some Russian classics, such as Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita.”
“Films that promote such relationships will not receive a distribution certificate,” the Duma said.