Russia’s parliament on Monday decided to tighten already strict restrictions on discussing LGBTQ rights and relationships.
A bill calling for the extension of a 2013 ban on the ‘promotion of non-traditional sex’ to minors, commonly known as the ‘gay propaganda’ bill, has been announced on the parliament’s website, or Duma.
Introduced by a cross-party group of six communist and socially conservative MPs, the bill would ban public discussion of LGBTQ relations in a positive or neutral light, and any LGBTQ content in cinemas.
Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of parliament and an ally of President Vladimir Putin, proposed similar measures earlier this month. On July 8, he spoke out in favor of a broad ban on spreading information about LGBTQ relationships after Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe, a human rights watchdog, in March. .
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“With the exit of the Council of Europe, calls for the legalization of same-sex marriages in Russia are now a thing of the past. Attempts to impose extraterrestrial values on our society have failed,” Volodin wrote on Telegram.
Pro-Kremlin figures have repeatedly framed the ongoing war in Ukraine as a battle against “Western values,” which they say include visibility and LGBTQ rights.
On the same day the bill was submitted for consideration, Putin formally recalled Russia’s representative to the European Court of Human Rights, or ECHR, via an executive order published Monday on the legal information portal of the Russian government.
Last month, Putin signed into law a bill releasing Russia from its responsibility to enforce ECHR judgments issued after March 15, when Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe. The ECHR was established by a 1953 convention drafted by the then newly formed council, which all member states are expected to ratify.
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