MOSCOW -- The upper house of Russia's parliament on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill significantly expanding restrictions on activities seen as promoting LGBTQ rights in the country, the latest move in an ongoing crackdown on the country’s embattled LGBTQ community.
The Federation Council quickly rubber-stamped the bill following its equally speedy approval last week by the lower house, the State Duma. It will now go to President Vladimir Putin who will sign it into law.
A 2013 law banned what authorities deem to be spreading “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. The new bill expands that ban to spreading such information to people aged 18 and older.
The new bill outlaws advertising, media and online resources. books, films and theater productions deemed to contain such “propaganda.”
It also broadens the existing restrictions by banning information about gender transitions to be conveyed to minors.
Violations are punishable by fines and, if committed by non-residents, could lead to their expulsion from Russia.
The fines range from 100,000 to 2 million rubles ($1,660-$33,000). For some violations, foreigners could face 15 days’ detention prior to expulsion.
The bill does not make violations a criminal offense as Russian law stipulates that the criminal code can be amended only through an independent bill. Some lawmakers have suggested they favor such a measure.
Russia explicitly outlawed same-sex marriages in 2020 by adopting amendments to the country’s Constitution that, among other things, stipulated that the “institution of marriage is a union between a man and a woman.”