Russia: Kaliningrad region approves anti-gay bill

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A bill forbidding “homosexual propaganda” has passed in the Kaliningrad outpost of Russia, similar to those passed in other areas of the country, which proposals suggested should be made national laws.

The bill which will need the governor’s signature to become law, mirrors legislation which was passed in St Petersburg last February.

The Kaliningrad bill, as drafted by the United Russia Deputy, Oleg Bolychev, could impose 3,000-5,000 ruble (£60-100) fines for individuals, and 500,000 to 1 million (£10,000-20,000) ruble fines for organisations convicted of “promoting” homosexuality, the Moscow Times reports.

The St Petersburg law came under fire from the LGBT community, and human rights activists worldwide, however it has also been proposed that the law should be made federal. Fines can be issued to people breaking the law in St Petersburg.

The Russian Prime Minister said in December that he doesn’t see any reason why homosexuality should be banned legally in the country, and that it is not an big issue for many Russians.

Despite this, a bid to make the ant-gay laws federal is pending approval by the State Duma, which the Prime Minister admitted could be the case.

On Tuesday, the Russian State Duma indefinitely delayed the initial vote on a proposed homophobic censorship bill that had already sparked protests by LGBT campaigners across Russia.

Following protests earlier this week, homophobic Russians attacked gay activists in the city of Voronezh.

In October, Russia’s Supreme Court ruled that the country’s second largest city of St Petersburg could continue to enforce its homophobic censorship law.

Last January, police in the Kaliningrad region reportedly stopped a group of right-wing joggers after being wrongly tipped that they were staging an illegal gay pride parade.