by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a law that effectively prohibits any public expression of LGBT behavior or lifestyle in Russia, Reuters reports.
The new legislation expands on an existing 2013 ‘LGBT propaganda’ law which prohibits the “demonstration” of homosexual conduct to minors. Gay pride marches had already been banned under the existing law. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that the 2013 law is discriminatory and violates the European Convention on Human Rights.
Under Putin’s new law, all “LGBT propaganda,” including any action or spreading of information that seeks to promote homosexuality in public, online, or in films, books, or advertising to anyone of any age, is prohibited, Reuters said.
Violation of the law can result in heavy fines of up to 400,000 rubles ($6,370) for “LGBT propaganda” and up to 200,000 rubles ($3,185) for “demonstrations of LGBT and information that encourages a change of gender among teenagers.” The fines are increased ($80,000) and 4 million rubles ($64,000), respectively, for legal entities.
Rights groups have said laws such as this aim to drive lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people out of public life altogether, Reuters reports. Tanya Lokshina, associate Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement: “The 2013 ‘gay propaganda’ law was an unabashed example of political homophobia, and the new draft legislation amplifies that in broader and harsher ways.”
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