Russian Bill Aims to Ban Homosexuality
In Russia, there is a bill that proposes to fine people up to $16,000 for the “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism” according to CBS News. This bill already passed by the Lower House of Parliament by a vote of 388-1-1.
According to The Washington Post, the purpose of the bill is to protect minors from sexual propaganda because “this propaganda goes through the mass media and public events that propagate homosexuality as normal behavior” and “they are unable to evaluate the information critically”.
This bill has received widespread support from the Orthodox Church and the general public.
“Until this scum gets off of Russian land, I fully share the views of those who are trying to purge our motherland of it,” said Rev. Sergiy Rybko for the Orthodoxy and World online magazine. There was a survey taken by the Levada Center last year that shows that two thirds of Russians find homosexuality “morally unacceptable and worth condemning.” Also, a third of those surveyed thought homosexuality is the result of “a sickness or a psychological trauma.”
On both Tuesday and Friday of this past week, LGBT members showed public displays of affection near the Lower House of Parliament in retaliation for the proposed bill. The rallies were broken up by Orthodox activists, and on Friday, the police detained 20 people, most of them being LGBT members.
Opponents of the bill have said that this law is simply a way for Vladimir Putin to boost his popularity and appeal to traditional Russian values.
“Animosity towards gays and lesbians is widespread in society, and the Duma, which has approved a number of unpopular laws, hopes it can win some popularity with an anti-gay law. It is relying on the ignorance of people who think homosexuality is some sort of distortion,” said veteran human rights campaigner Lyudmila Alexeyeva to Reuters.
Nearby countries of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have laws that make same-sex feelings illegal, and although Russia decriminalized same-sex love in 1993, legislations in St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk and Ryazan have outlawed it.