Gay pride is a dangerous thing to publicize in many parts of the world. Now those who want to do so in Russia will face heavy fines.
Fox News reports that the lower house of Russian parliament has approved a law that would fine those who publicly display gay pride. The bill was overwhelmingly approved with 436 members voting in favor, none voting against, and only one – Ilya Ponomaryov – abstained from the vote.
Officially, the law calls for a ban on “propaganda of nontraditional sexual values.” If put into effect, the law would ban groups from handing out LGBT information and holding gay pride rallies. Both President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church have come out in favor of the law. They both blame homosexuals for Russia’s declining birth rate, a degradation of values, and a general resistance towards authority.
It’s reported that many members of the Russian homosexual community attempted to protest outside of parliament as the bill was being debated, but were soon attacked by Orthodox Christians and groups loyal to Putin. The police soon moved in and arrested the protesters. There were also reports saying members of the homosexual community were beaten by masked men on another street.
The bill’s passage has been decried by LGBT and human rights groups around the world. Those groups may find themselves in trouble, however, if they decide to move in and help protesters. The bill as it stands allows the government to arrest and deport any foreigners spreading “homosexual propaganda” in Russia.