Russian lawmakers pass bill banning ‘LGBT propaganda’ among adults

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill banning “LGBT propaganda” among adults, a tougher version of a 2013 law that only targeted minors.

Any event or act considered an attempt to promote homosexuality – including online, in films, books, advertising or in public – is now subject to a heavy fine of up to 400,000 rubles ( $6,600) for natural persons and up to 5 million rubles ($82,100) for legal persons, according to the new law.

Foreign nationals risk for their part 15 days of pre-trial detention, then expulsion from the country.

The opposition denounces a new measure of oppression against sexual minorities in Russia. Human rights groups are concerned about the “invisibility” of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in public life.

MPs counter that the law aims to protect Russian society from the “decadent” values ​​of the West.

“LGBT people today are an element of hybrid warfare and in this hybrid warfare we must protect our values, our society and our children,” said Alexander Khinstein, one of the initiators of the bill, last month.

The text must now be reviewed by the upper house of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin before coming into force.

(Report Filipp Lebedev, French version Diana Mandiá, edited by Sophie Louet)

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