The Duma, Russia’s parliament, is preparing to act June 11 on a bill that would provide for fines of up to 1 million rubles (US$31,000) for organizations that discuss any positive aspects of homosexuality in the presence of children.
It would also outlaw such discussions on the Internet, because children might read them there.
The newly revised version of the bill, which passed on a first reading on Jan. 25, would also allow gay pride parades only in remote locations, such as a field or a forest far from children.
“Our bill does not ban gay parades, but they will be possible only in places, where presence of children is excluded absolutely,” said Elena Mizulina, the chair of the Duma committee that has been working on the bill. “In a field, in a forest.”
The Itar-Tass news service reported:
The Gazeta.Ru, an online newspaper, asked Mizulina if Madonna will be expelled from Russia should she be wearing during her performance a t-shirt with a drawing of kissing men. The deputy said she would not rule out a scenario of the kind.
Mizulina continued, saying the bill was not hazardous – on the contrary, it protected children. “We are not banning generally propaganda of homosexuality; among the adults or at special clubs – please, go ahead, and we are not introducing criminal responsibility for sodomy, as it used to be back in the times of the USSR,” she said.
Head of Russia’s Human Rights Council Mikhail Fedotov says the bill contains a dangerous tendency – splitting the society on the basis of sexual orientation.
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