St. Petersburg votes for homophobic law

On 8 February, the regional parliament in St. Petersburg voted for a law banning “homosexual propaganda” in a second round. Civil Rights Defenders protests against the discriminatory law, which is one step from being introduced.

Please sign a protest against the law.

– The purpose of this bill is to silence LGBT people and it is insulting to lump them together with pedophiles. Rather than restrict LGBT rights, the Russian authorities should take measures to reduce the rampant discrimination, said Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Civil Rights Defenders.

According to the bill, those who engage in “propaganda for sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgenderism and pedophilia against minors” would receive a fine of up to 1000 dollars. What will be interpreted as propaganda remains to be seen, but LGBT organisations fear that this might even include movies and books portraying homosexuality.

If the parliament votes for the bill a third time and it is signed by the governor, it will come intro force. The first reading was held in November last year and it caused large protests, including a petition with more than 260 000 names. The bill has gone through some changes, but the content is largely the same. Laws that forbid “homosexual propaganda” is already available in Arkhangelsk, Ryazan and Kostroma.

If Saint Petersburg adopts the law, there is a risk that United Russia, Russia’s biggest party, will introduce a similar law at the federal level.

Russian activists have demonstrated intensivly against the bill. At a demonstration outside the regional Duma in the morning of February 8, five activists were arrested by the police.

Categories: News.
Tags: Homophobia, Joanna Kurosz, and LGBT.
Regions: Russia.