10th region in Russia adopts ‘gay propaganda’ law

Kaliningrad map
Kaliningrad map (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

As of today, 10 regions in Russia have laws against so-called “propaganda of homosexualism,” reports Maria Kozlovskaya of the Russian LGBT Network.

The 10th region to adopt such a censorship law is Kaliningrad, where the regional parliament (duma) voted for the law today.

The Kaliningrad version of the law differs from similar laws elsewhere in Russia in that it prohibits propaganda among all people in the region, including adults. In  other regions, the law typically bans public displays or discussions of homosexuality in the presence of minors.

The author of the law was Oleg Bolychev, deputy in the Kaliningrad Regional Duma. The law provides for fines of 3,000 to 5,000 rubles ($100 to $166) for violations committed by individuals, fines of 30,000 to 50,000 rubles ($1,000 to $1,666) for officials, and 500,000 to 1 million rubles ($16,000 to $32,000) for organizations.

Igor Kochetkov, chair of the Russian LGBT Network, commented:

Either from stupidity or amazing honesty, Kaliningrad deputies managed to uncover the real intentions of authors and instigators of the law on “propaganda of homosexualism.”

For us from the very beginning it was obvious that this initiative has nothing to do with protection of children. Like many other recent legal initiatives, the protection of children is used to cover the real wish – to shut up everyone who thinks or speak out the opinions different from the official ones — and also to hide the government’s inability to solve real social problems.

A national bill to impose censorship related to homosexuality was introduced by the Novosibirsk region’s Legislative Assembly on March 28.  Its first reading has been delayed many times. According to the approved agenda for tomorrow, Jan. 25, the bill known as Article 6.13.1 will be considered in a first reading then.

On Nov. 30, the Russian LGBT Network started a campaign against article 6.13.1. The campaign has won support from well-known Russian and international human rights organizations, including the Youth Human Rights Movement, Moscow Helsinki group, Swedish Helsinki committee, Civil Rights Defenders, United for Intercultural Action, Amnesty International, ILGA-Europe, Front Line Defenders, SETA, the Intergroup on LGBT Rights of the European Parliament, and others.

For additional information, write to [email protected] or [email protected] or visit the group’s official Facebook page.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor/publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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