The Russian parliament’s lower house on Thursday approved amendments to the so-called “LGBT promotion” law in its third reading, extending liability to all age categories.
The discrimination law proposes to ban all Russians from promoting or “glorifying” homosexual relationships or publicly suggesting they are “normal”.
The original version of the law, adopted in 2013, prohibited the “propagation of non-traditional sexual relations” between minors. The new iteration would extend the law to adults as well.
Individuals who distribute or attempt to distribute what the law calls “LGBT propaganda” will be fined up to 400,000 rubles ($6,600). Legal entities can be fined up to 5 million rubles ($82,100). According to the bill, foreigners can be arrested for up to 15 days or deported.
It will now be referred to the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, before Russian President Vladimir Putin signs it.
In 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda law” is discriminatory, promotes homophobia and violates the European Convention on Human Rights.
The court found that the law “did not serve any legitimate public interest” and rejected suggestions that public debate on LGBT issues could influence children to become homosexual or that it threatened public morality.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but homophobia and discrimination are still widespread. It is ranked 46th out of 49 European countries for LGBTQ+ inclusion by watchdog ILGA-Europe.