Russia’s lower house on Thursday passed amendments to a law on so-called “LGBT propaganda” in its third reading, extending liability to all age groups.
The discriminatory law envisages banning all Russians from promoting or “praising” homosexual relationships or publicly claiming that they are “normal”.
The original version of the law, passed in 2013, banned “propaganda for non-traditional sexual relations” among minors. The new iteration would also apply the law to adults.
Individuals who spread or attempt to spread what the bill 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 draft law, foreigners can be arrested for up to 15 days or deported.
It will now go to the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, before being enacted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 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 a legitimate public interest” and dismissed suggestions that public debate on LGBT issues might lead children to become homosexual or that it threatened public morals.
Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but homophobia and discrimination are still widespread. It ranks 46th out of 49 European countries for LGBTQ+ inclusion by watchdog ILGA-Europe.