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Russian MP proposes criminal penalties for LGBT ‘propaganda’ 

The already-adopted bill envisions fines and other administrative punishments

Amendments to the bill banning “LGBT propaganda” in Russia could introduce tougher penalties beyond fines and deportation and expand it to cover theaters and large entertainment venues, a lawmaker said on Friday. 

“We have absolutely no coverage of theatrical activities, and here we will think about entertainment and mass events, we will think about this topic for the second reading, we are preparing amendments,” Nina Ostanina, the head of the State Duma committee on family issues, told Ria Novosti.

“It is not enough to be limited only to administrative fines. We once again insist on the introduction of amendments to the Criminal Code and we will talk about criminal punishment in the second reading,” she said.

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The first draft of the bill, originally proposed by media regulator Roskomnadzor and endorsed by the Duma unanimously on Thursday, bans the spread of ‘LGBT propaganda’ in the media, online, in books, films, ‘audio-visual services’ and advertisements. It envisions fines ranging from up to 400,000 rubles ($6,500) for individuals and up to five million rubles ($81,500) for legal entities, and expulsion from Russia for foreign violators. 

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The bill also calls for hefty fines for those promoting and “justifying” pedophilia as well as information that could encourage underage Russians to change their sex. Cosponsored by 390 out of 450 members of the State Duma, it is widely regarded as a “sequel” to the 2013 law that banned the spread of ‘LGBT propaganda’ to minors.

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“We should do our best to protect our children, those who want to lead a normal life,” State Duma chair Vyacheslav Volodin said on Thursday. “Everything else is sin, sodomy, darkness.”

Introducing criminal penalties in the amendments might be a step too far, according to Alexander Khinshtein, the chair of the Duma’s committee on information policy. The current bill introduced administrative penalties only, he told TASS on Friday, adding that using it to make changes to the criminal code was “impossible on formal grounds.”

Debate on introducing criminal liability is already underway, Khinshtein said, but the main goal at the moment is to focus on the preventive measures envisioned by the current initiative, in order “to make these disgusting phenomena impossible.” 

Khinshtein clarified earlier that the proposed bill does not ban LGBT identity as such, however. Speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he was fine with the West promoting values “like dozens of genders and gay pride parades” at home, but not in his country.

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“If Western elites believe that they can incorporate into the minds of their people, their societies things that I personally find somewhat weird but which are apparently in fashion,” Putin said, “so be it. Let them do whatever they want.”

https://ift.tt/qGMs3j9 29, 2022 at 01:30AM
from RT – Daily news

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