The Russian city of St Petersburg has passed a law that bans the promotion of ‘gay propoganda’, a move led by the governing United Russia party. It has been condemned by LGBT rights organisations across the world.
Fining members of the public who acknowledge lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) issues in the presence of minors, the ban was passed by a twenty seven to one majority, and stands alongside identical bans on ‘propoganda’ for paedophilia. These fines start at the equivalent of £20 for individual comments and up to £1,000 for organisations that ‘promote LGBT’ culture and issues.
Campaigners assert that this law infringes human rights; it is certainly not the first time that Russia has been in the news for an openly anti-LGBT attitude. Just six years ago, almost fifty per cent of Russian citizens believed that ‘acts of homosexuality’ should be re-criminalised. Representatives from Coming Out, Russia and GayRussia.ru have dismissed this most recent development in the law as a “disgrace”.
All Out, an organisation with over 600, 000 supporters who hope to “build a world where every person can live freely and be embraced for who they are”, have launched a petition to protest against this bill. When So So Gay was first alerted to the petition on monday morning it had reached around twenty thousand signatures; now, only hours later, it is on 33, 445 signatures. It is aiming to reach 50, 000. The petition warns the public that the “ruling party led by President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin could make millions of people invisible with the stroke of a pen“.
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