Russia, anti-LGBT law approved: very high fines and deportation for foreigners

Prohibited “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”, the dissemination of LGBT information in the media, in books, films and advertisements

The Russian Duma approved a second reading anti-LGBT law, which prohibits “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations and paedophilia”, as well as the dissemination of LGBT information in all media, the Internet, books, films and advertising. Furthermore, information that can lead to a sex change is prohibited.

Tass writes it today, explaining that violators will have to pay fines of up to 10 million rubles (over 165 thousand dollars), which will be maximum in the case of propaganda directed at minors. There are fines ranging from 50,000 to 400,000 rubles (between 850 and 6,600 dollars). In any case for foreigners deportation is foreseen, which can be preceded by a 15-day detention. Tass writes that among the authors of the text there are 400 deputies, including the speaker of the Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, a loyalist of Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin. “We must do everything possible to protect our children and those who want to lead a normal life,” Volodin said.

The new law, which Putin could sign by the end of the month, extends the controversial provision of 2013 on the ban on LGBT “propaganda” aimed at minors.

LGBT activists contacted by the Moscow Times say their community will be forced to live in the shadows, with consequences for LGBT organizations and their headquarters. “This law will impact everyone, not just LGBT people. The scariest thing is that the law affects everything: movies, TV series, media, advertising,” says Noel Shaida, head of the closed LGBT rights group Sphere Foundation this year by the authorities.

An activist, referred to only as Sergey, advocates a return to the times of the USSR when LGBT people met secretly in private places, thanks to word of mouth. The new law is part of the Russian authoritarian stranglehold and the return to the so-called “traditional values” pursued by the Kremlin after the invasion of Ukraine.