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March 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The legislative assembly of St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, has approved a law prohibiting exposing minors to homosexualist and pedophile propaganda.

Twenty-nine out of the assembly’s 50 members voted in favor of the measure, which will now be sent to the city’s governor for his signature. The Moscow Times reports that other Russian cities are considering similar bills.

St. Petersburg governor George Poltavechenko told reporters today that he had not yet seen the bill, but “if it conforms to applicable federal law, then anything is possible.”

If passed, the bill will subject individuals who violate the law to a fine of up to 5,000 rubles ($172), and organizations to a fine of up to 500,000 rubles ($17,200).

Vladimir Legoida, a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, hailed the measure and dismissed critics who claim it violates “human rights,” noting that “a global trend in such matters is not an argument for abandoning immutable moral categories.”

“One of the most important values for modern man is freedom,” said Legoida. “The Church calls on us to remember that the main freedom for the individual is freedom from sin, from falsehood, from immorality. Thus the Church does not condemn sinners, she prays for them and seeks to help them. But it always condemns the sin that can not accept the norm.”

The pro-abortion and homosexualist organization “Human Rights Watch” expressed its dismay at the passage of the measure, calling the day of passage, February 29, a “black day for St. Petersburg and Russia” because “the bill limits freedom of expression, as well as a veiled attempt to strike at Russian LGBT organizations.”

If the law is signed by Governor Poltavechenko, St. Petersburg will join Moscow in its defiance of the international homosexual agenda.

Despite a ruling against it by the European Court of Human Rights, Moscow is continuing its long-standing policy of prohibiting “gay pride” parades and other public expressions of homosexuality.

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