The Russian Parliament wants to extend the ‘gay propaganda’ law

Russia’s parliament on Monday moved to tighten already tight restrictions on discussions on LGBTQ rights and relations.

A bill calling for an expansion of the 2013 ban on the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors, widely referred to as the “gay propaganda” law, was announced on the parliament’s website, or Duma.

Introduced by a cross-party group of six Communist and socially conservative deputies, the bill would prohibit positive or neutral public discussion of LGBTQ relations, and any LGBTQ content in theaters.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of parliament and an ally of President Vladimir Putin, proposed a similar move earlier this month. On July 8, he spoke out in support of a broad ban on the dissemination of information on LGBTQ relations after Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe, a human rights watchdog, in March.

“With the exit of the Council of Europe, demands to legalize same-sex marriage in Russia have become a thing of the past. Attempts to impose foreign values ​​on our society have failed,” Volodin wrote on Telegram.

Pro-Kremlin figures have repeatedly called the ongoing war in Ukraine a battle against “Western values,” which they say include LGBTQ visibility and rights.

The same day the bill was submitted for consideration, Putin formally summoned Russia’s representatives at the European Court of Human Rights, or ECHR, via a decree published Monday on Russia’s government portal for legal information.

Last month, Putin signed a law freeing Russia from its responsibility to enforce ECHR decisions issued after March 15, when Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe. The ECHR was established by a 1953 convention drafted by the newly formed council, which all member states are expected to ratify.

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