You’re invited! Join LifeSite in celebrating 25 years of pro-life and pro-family reporting at our anniversary Gala August 17th in Naples, Florida. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased by clicking here.
MOSCOW (LifeSiteNews) – The Russian Parliament is considering a bill to expand its current law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” being aimed at children to include any material considered “LGBT propaganda” being shown on television or published online.
Lawmakers at Russia’s State Duma submitted amendments to Parliament “regarding the prohibition of information promoting non-traditional sexual relations” on Monday. Arguing for an outright ban on all LGBT “propaganda,” Duma information committee head Alexander Khinshtein said that the current 2013 law, which only bans the promotion of such materials to minors, should apply “regardless of the age of the audience (offline, in the media, on the internet, social networks and online cinemas).”
An accompanying note to the proposal explained that in Russia, “at the legislative level, it is not allowed to promote suicide, drugs, extremism, [or] criminal behavior, as they are considered negative and socially dangerous phenomena,” Russian news network RT reported.
However, the authors of the bill recognized that there is no ban on “the denial of family values and non-traditional sexual relations, including with the use of film distribution,” which they said should belong to the category of “socially dangerous” since the promotion of such “childfree” lifestyles “puts the issues of demography and future economic growth at risk.”
“Public approval and recognition of such relationships are dangerous not only for children and young people … but for the whole society,” the note reads.
“Family, motherhood, and childhood in their traditional understanding, taken from the ancestors, are the values that ensure the continuous change of generations,” the authors wrote, adding that traditional family values are a “condition for the preservation and development of the multinational people of the Russian Federation, and therefore need special protection from the state.”
While defending the liberty of citizens to openly identify as LGBT, the bill insists that this freedom neither grants “the right to seek public approval of such relations” nor to “disseminate ‘new’ values that carry hidden threats to society.”
The legislation faces three rounds of parliamentary scrutiny at the State Duma before being passed to the Federation Council, the upper house in Russia’s bicameral system, for secondary approval. The bill then requires President Vladimir Putin’s signature before becoming law.
The current law, applying a prohibition on promoting LGBT-focused materials to minors, carries fines topping out at 1 million rubles ($17,253) for state officials who break the ruling and exile from the Russian Federation for foreign citizens.
An earlier draft of the proposed extension to the bill suggested imposing fines ranging from $660 to $160,000 for the creation of material that promotes or seeks to form “non-traditional sexual attitudes, the attractiveness of non-traditional sexual relations, a distorted idea of the social equivalence of traditional and non-traditional sexual relations, and the imposition of information about non-traditional sexual relations, causing interest in such relations.”