The Deputies of St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly have approved in the first reading a draft law on administrative responsibility for propaganda by the “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender” community.
The draft passed almost unilaterally with 37 votes for, one against and one abstention. According to it, promoting homosexuality will be punished with a fine from 1,000 rubles ($32) for individuals to 50,000 rubles ($1,630) for legal entities.
In response to it some LGBT activists have made several single piquets near the Assembly's building and in front of the Mariinsky Palace. They were holding posters which read, “Stop feeding people with homophobic laws”, “I love my gay son. Is he to become an outlaw now?” and "Public Health Ministry 1999 - "Homosexuality is normal. Legislative Assembly 2011 -...?"
St. Petersburg LGBT-organization also gathers signatures to the official statement addressed to St. Petersburg current mayor Sergei Poltavchenko. More than 7000 people have already put their signatures to the statement, which warns that this draft law creates a threat for citizens rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association.
“I think that next month we will see a lot of such initiatives… I think it’s a very dangerous tendency because the next step will be a law like this on a federal level,” Igor Yasin, LGBT activist, told The Moscow News.
Vitaly Milonov, the author of the bill, said: "St. Petersburg is covered from head to toe with “a wave of sexual perversion. Our children must be protected from that destructive information." Some other deputies even demanded of heavier punishments for the promoting homosexuality, including criminal responsibility.
Russia's officials have repeatedly banned gay pride marches in Russian towns and cities provoking local uproar on both sides of the divide and criticism from abroad.
Author: Julia Alieva