Yesterday, the lower Russian parliament approved a bill that would make “propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation” illegal, The Associated Press and other news outlets reported.
The legislation — which the upper parliament must approve — would impose hefty fines for disseminating any information about the LGBT community to minors and holding gay pride rallies.
Aside from stigmatizing the gay community, the ban also incited a riot outside the State Duma near Red Square in Moscow.
When gay activists attempted to hold a “kissing rally” Tuesday, a menagerie of Orthodox Christians, pro-Kremlin kids, and homophobics attacked. The police detained more than two dozen protestors, nearly all of them gay activists, according to CBS News.
The Kremlin and President Vladmir Putin make no secret of their anti-American sentiments. And America, for the most part, has been pretty progressive on gay rights. Right now, 12 states allow (or will soon allow) same-sex marriage. Many speculate this new law only further separates Russian culture from the West, just as Putin planned.
The upper house and the President must still approve the new provision, but considering the first reading passed unanimously, the outcome doesn’t look good.
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