A hideous bill under consideration in St. Petersburg, Russia, banning gay 'propaganda' has passed on its second reading, RIA Novosti reports:
St. Petersburg’s city legislature approved on Wednesday a bill imposing fines up to $16,700 for the promotion of homosexuality. It follows similar bans in the southern Astrakhan and central Ryazan and Kostroma regions in Russia.
It also allows authorities to impose fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,700) for “public activities promoting homosexuality (sodomy and lesbianism), bisexualism and transgender identity” as well as pedophilia among minors.
The fines are 10 times higher than when the bill was first brought before the city’s legislature in November.
The authorities insist the ban is necessary to safeguard “minor’s moral and spiritual development,” but rights groups earlier warned of the slide towards legitimizing fascism.
Activist Nikolai Alekseev writes on Facebook: "St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly just voted in favor of the bill banning propaganda of homosexuality and pedopholia to minors in its second reading. Despite protests and AllOut petition! Third reading will be technical. Now it is clear to law will be passed and implemented!"
Russian LGBT rights group Side by Side wrote: "the measure will rule out nearly all public events carried out by or on behalf of LGBT people and organizations and their reaching out to the media and the Internet, severely curtailing the publication of anything relating to LGBT rights or providing assistance or advice."
A similar law is being considered in Moscow, and the ruling party's representatives are suggesting that a federal bill be drawn up covering the same issues.
A petition against the bill with more than 262,000 signatures is online.