Russian regulator pitches full LGBT ‘propaganda’ ban
The head of Russia’s media regulator, Roskomnadzor, has called for a legislative ban on LGBT+ “propaganda” for all Russians, regardless of age.
The proposal was made during a parliamentary hearing on initiatives aimed at containing the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” and pedophilia. Gay “propaganda” is currently only prohibited in Russia when directed at children.
Andrey Lipov, the head of Roskomnadzor, told MPs on Monday that many 18+ materials, including books, contain content depicting “non-traditional” relations and still “remain accessible to minors.”
In order to “protect society” from the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations and other sexual deviations, including pedophilia, sexual violence and others,” Lipov said it was “necessary to introduce a ban on the promotion of these deviations among people of any age, not only among children.”
He added that a total ban on LGBT+ propaganda would provide Roskomnadzor with sufficient legal grounds to protect “spiritual and moral sovereignty.”
The watchdog’s head revealed that to date Roskomnadzor has blocked and removed more than 7,200 materials featuring non-traditional relations, calling each piece of material “a bomb.”
His stance was supported by the General Prosecutor’s office. The head of its department for the rights of minors, Irina Rebrina, voiced support for the new legislation, saying that “the emotional development of a new generation of Russians” is a matter of concern.
The State Duma chairman, Vyacheslav Volodin, said the bill could be approved in the first reading early next week.
Expressing hope that the final bill would be ready for presidential approval in November, Volodin claimed that the proposed legislation serves as a means to protect Russians “from the darkness that is spreading more and more in the world.”
Besides banning propaganda of LGBT and pedophilia, the proposals currently being considered by lawmakers include outlawing “demonstrations of LGBT people, as well as information encouraging gender reassignment among teenagers,” and even the dissemination of information “promoting the denial of family values.”
The Duma’s information committee also suggested some alterations to several existing bills and to the Code of Administrative Offenses. In particular, it seeks to set the maximum fine for promoting pedophilia at 10 million rubles ($162,000).