Russian Duma approves law toughening punishments against LGTBI «propaganda»

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File – Image of Vladimir Putin at the gay pride rally in Naples. – Fabio Sasso/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

The Russian State Duma has approved this Thursday in third and final reading a reform that toughens and expands punishments against those who disseminate LGTBI content, with measures that no longer extend only to the field of minors.

The Russian government justifies this reform on the need to combat scourges such as pedophilia, but for human rights organizations it is another step forward in the repression against the LGTBI community.

Russian authorities plan to prosecute any type of content considered contrary to conservative values on the Internet, media, books, films and advertisements, according to Russian official media.

It will not be allowed, for example, to disseminate content on sexual orientations considered non-traditional, with a specific section to prevent «propaganda» for gender reassignment therapies.

Fines for LGTBI «propaganda» can reach 400,000 rubles (about 6,400 euros) in the case of ordinary citizens, or 800,000 rubles in the case of civil servants. In the case of entities, the penalty rises to 5 million (more than 79,000 euros), Interfax agency reports.