Russia’s lower house of parliament on Thursday passed amendments at third reading to a law on so-called “LGBT propaganda,” extending accountability to all ages.
The discriminatory law proposes to ban all Russians from promoting or “praising” homosexual relationships or publicly suggesting they are “normal”.
The original version of the law passed in 2013 banned “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors. The new iteration would also apply the law to adults.
Individuals who distribute or attempt to spread “LGBT propaganda” will be fined up to 400,000 rubles ($6,600). Corporate entities can be fined up to 5 million rubles ($82,100). Foreigners can be arrested or deported for up to 15 days under the bill.
It will now be forwarded to the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, before being signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda law” is discriminatory, promotes homophobia and violates the European Convention on Human Rights.
The court ruled that the law “did not serve a legitimate public interest”, rejecting suggestions that public debate on LGBT issues could influence children to become homosexual, or that it would threaten public morals.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but homophobia and discrimination are still widespread. It is ranked 46th out of 49 European countries for LGBTQ+ inclusion by watchdog ILGA-Europe.