MOSCOW, April 19, 2012 ( – A proposal to outlaw propaganda from the homosexualist movement, particularly that aimed at children, has met with overwhelming approval from the Russian public. A poll conducted by state-run pollster VTsIOM, showed 86 percent of 1,600 respondents nationwide said they supported a ban on the promotion of homosexual relationships.

Recently, the Russian Federation delegation at the G8 Summit refused to endorse a joint statement by foreign ministers that included “lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender” people in its affirmation of human rights. A footnote to the statement read, “The Russian Federation disassociates itself from this language given the absence of any explicit definition or provision relating to such a group or such persons as separate rights holders under international human rights law.”

Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said that “under the pretext of protecting so-called sexual minorities, in effect there’s aggressive propaganda and the imposition of certain behavior and values that may insult the majority of the society.”

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However, eighty-five percent of respondents in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and 96 percent in rural areas – 94 percent overall – said they had never seen any “gay propaganda.” The poll found that the main source of the materials is television, which accounts for 57 per cent of all instances. Eight per cent of respondents referred to a ubiquitous “cult of homosexuality” in the media.

In March, the city government of St. Petersburg garnered outrage when it passed a law banning promotion of homosexual relations and pedophilia to minors. Foreign and home-grown homosexualist activists called for the boycotting of travel to St. Petersburg, a popular tourist destination. A similar bill has since been introduced in the federal parliament, and a Moscow city official said this week that the capital is also considering a ban on the promotion of sodomy, RIA Novosti news service reports.

Washington Post reporter Michael Birnbaum says that during the recent national elections, anti-western sentiment, including heavy criticism of the homosexual culture and its widespread acceptance, featured prominently in campaign rhetoric.

The St. Petersburg law can impose fines equivalent to $17,000 for spreading “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality or transgenderism among minors.” This includes “information forming misrepresented conceptions of social equivalence of traditional and non-traditional marriage relations.”

Such laws are bound to be popular in a country where a 2010 poll found that 74 per cent of Russians said homosexuals are “morally dissolute or deficient” and believe that homosexuality is “an amoral mental deviation.”