Society

Russia Set to Pass Controversial Anti-Gay Law

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The Duma, Russia's lower house of Parliament, has backed a bill that bans "homosexual propaganda." 

The bill was pushed by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church, and was approved by a vote of 388-1-1. It would make public events and sharing "propaganda" about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community with minors punishable by fines of up to $16k. 

It's a broad definition of propaganda, and could mean anything that mentions things about the gay community, like TV shows, could be banned. Madonna and Lady Gaga also apparently fall under the definition.

Reuters reported that propaganda laws of Arkhangelsk, Novosibirsk, and St. Petersberg made it possible to, unsuccessfully, sue Madonna for $10 million for promoting gay love during a concert. 

The case prompted a local politician to take similar action against Lady Gaga, who is well-known for her gay rights activism. 

The law backers said in a written defense: "“Such widespread propaganda of homosexuality negatively affects the formation of a child’s personality, blurs its ideas of the family as the union of a man and woman, and in fact creates grounds for limiting the freedom of choice of sexual preferences when it grows up."

It is likely to be signed into law by President Vladimir PUtin. 

LGBT groups are understandably upset, and protested the proposed legislation in Voronezh and Moscow over the weekend. The peaceful "Kiss-In" ended in violence when the protestors were met with anti-gay demonstrators. 

(Salon)