The Parliament of Russia has approved a new bill that expands a previous prohibition on “LGBT propaganda” and restrictions on “demonstration[s]” of LGBTQ behaviors, with the result that this lifestyle in Russia has essentially become almost impossible. With this new law, should President Putin end up signing it, any action or information that could be considered an attempt to promote homosexuality, regardless of its source being public, online, or in such things as advertising, films, or books, could lead to a heavy fine. Furthermore, this bill now bans the “demonstration” of LGBTQ behavior to children, while the previous law passed outlawed only the promotion of such lifestyles aimed at children.
Russian lawmakers justify their signing on to the bill by presenting themselves as acting in defense of the traditional values of the “Russian world,” which has been targeted for destruction by the liberal West. The currently existing law that this new legal effort is built upon has already been used by Russian authorities to detain activists for gay rights as well as prevent gay pride marches in their country. Should President Putin sign this new law, the vagueness of the bill itself will allow Russian law enforcement quite a degree of latitude in how they interpret this latest piece of legislation.
Given what we know of President Putin, such as the law he signed in 2013 and more recent actions, we might already expect this law to eventually be signed and put into force in Russia. Should that come to pass, there has already been speculation simply kissing in public might lead to fines, as well as fear that LGBTQ couples might have their children taken by the Russian state, given that their relationship in front of their children violates the law.