The lower house of the Russian parliament adopted in the third reading amendments to the law on the so-called “LGBT propaganda” on Thursday, expanding responsibility to all ages.
The discriminatory law proposes to ban all Russians from promoting or “praising” homosexual relationships or publicly declaring that they are “normal”.
The original version of the law, passed in 2013, prohibited “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. The new iteration will apply the law to adults as well.
Individuals who distribute or attempt to distribute what the bill calls “LGBT propaganda” will face fines of up to 400,000 rubles ($6,600). Legal entities can be fined up to 5 million rubles ($82,100). According to the bill, foreigners can be arrested for up to 15 days or deported.
It will now be sent to the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, before it is signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia’s so-called “homosexual propaganda law” is discriminatory, promotes homophobia, and violates the European Convention on Human Rights.
The court ruled that the law “does not serve a legitimate public interest”, dismissing suggestions that public debate on LGBT issues could influence children to become homosexual or that it threatens public morality.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but homophobia and discrimination still thrive. It is ranked 46th out of 49 European countries for LGBTQ+ inclusion by ILGA-Europe.