March 30, 2012 ( – Russia’s national parliament will soon begin consideration of a bill to outlaw homosexual propaganda aimed at minors, throughout the country.

The bill, which was submitted to the parliament yesterday by a regional government legislature in Siberia, is similar to one passed recently by the government of St. Petersburg and other regional bodies. It would impose a fine of up to $170 on individuals, $1,700 on public officials, and $17,000 on organizations, for exposing minors to propaganda advocating the homosexual lifestyle.

According to an explanatory note published by the authors of the bill and quoted by the independent Russian news agency Interfax, “Propaganda of homosexuality has gained momentum in contemporary Russia,” including the “active organization of public actions propagating homosexuality as a norm.”

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According to the Russian government news agency RIA Novosti, the authors of the bill claim that their initiative is “not countering homosexuality per se, as they are only recommending punishment for the propaganda of such behavior among minors as it negatively affects their spiritual and moral development.”

Such initiatives, which are supported by the Russian Orthodox Church and reflect the majority viewpoint among Russians on homosexual behavior, have been stimulated in recent years by provocative acts by homosexuals, who have insisted on organizing gay marches through the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and have even threatened to demonstrate in front of schools.

The governments of the two cities have responded by arresting and fining the demonstrators, and have continued to prohibit the displays in defiance of an order from the European Court of Human Rights.