US: Conservative group supports Russian anti-gay legislation as conference to be held at Kremlin

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In a sign of solidarity with Russia over recently passed legislation to ban “homosexual propaganda”, a US-based conservative group plans to hold its annual conference at the Kremlin next year.

The Illiois-based World Congress of Families, which opposes moves towards LGBT equality, plans to hold its eighth international conference at the Kremlin, Moscow, in 2014, in a show of support for a plethora of new legislation clamping down on the rights of Russian LGBT people, reports the AP.

The organisation describes itself as “an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 60 countries that seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the ‘seedbed’ of civil society”.

An official publication reported on Sunday that President Vladimir Putin had signed into law an anti-”propaganda” bill targeting non-traditional relationships, which was recently approved by both house of the Russian Parliament.

The upper house of the Russian Parliament voted on 26 June to approve the nationwide bill banning the promotion of “non-traditional” relationships to minors, with 137 votes in favour and one abstention.

Earlier this month the Duma, or lower parliamentary house, voted 436-0 with one abstention for the law. The bill bans public displays of a “non-tradition relationships , including gay pride events, or same-sex couples holding hands or kissing in public.

Human rights groups have criticised the anti-propaganda bill as “outrageous and incredibly dangerous”.

On Saturday, dozens of gay rights demonstrators were arrested in St Petersburg after attempting to hold a gay pride rally, which was deemed to have broken the city’s anti-propaganda laws.

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