March 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Officials of the Russian Orthodox Church are hailing a new law signed recently by St. Petersburg governor Georgy Poltavchenko, which prohibits homosexualist propaganda targeting minors, and asking that it be extended to the whole country.

“The law passed in St. Petersburg will help protect children from information manipulations by minorities promoting sodomy,” said Dimitri Pershin, a Russian Orthodox priest and expert with the State Duma Committee on Family, Women, and Children, in an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax.

“The persistence of sexual minorities and their intention to rally near children’s establishments indicate that this regional law is highly needed and should be urgently given federal status,” Pershin said, referring to homosexualist activist Nikolay Alexeyev’s stated intention to organize rallies near children’s establishments to protest the new law.

Vsevolod Chaplin, a spokesman for Moscow’s Orthodox leadership, said that while the Orthodox Church hadn’t initiated the legislation, “many believers” were eager to see its passage.

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Homosexual propaganda, “should not take place where minors can feel its influence; the same is true about heterosexual lechery‚Ķ. Public manifestations of this way of life are unacceptable for the majority of society. It is our duty to secure our children against it. They have no right to promote their way of life,” he said, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor.

St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, now fines individuals up to $170 and companies up to $17,000 for “public actions aimed at promoting sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors.” The measure is similar to others that have been passed in the Astrakhan, Ryazan, and Kostroma regions, according to RIA Novosti. The same agency reports that an overwhelming majority of Russians, 74 percent, regard homosexuals as “amoral” and “mentally defective,” according to a 2010 poll by an independent agency

The success of the legislation reflects a growing desire in Russia and other Slavic countries to buck the international political and cultural establishment and resist the homosexual political agenda.

The government of Moscow is continuing to prohibit “gay pride” parades after years of pressure, despite a ruling against the city by the European Court of Human Rights.