Russia approves terrifying all-ages ‘LGBTQ+ propaganda’ ban

An image of Russian president Vladimir Putin during a conference.

Russia is one step nearer to completely banning ‘LGBTQ+ propaganda’ from the media after legislation passed through lower parliament.

Russia’s State Duma successfully passed the “LGBTQ+ propaganda” law on Thursday (24 November) after a third amendment hearing.

It will now be forwarded to upper parliament in the Federation Council and will be made law by president Vladimir Putin if successfully approved.

The ruling, which is currently in effect for under-18s, prevents any promotion of LGBTQ+ identities or same-sex relationships in Russian media.

But proposed amendments by Russian lawmakers have sought to extend this to all Russians across the country.

A picture of the State Duma congregation.

Russia’s State Duma voted for the approval of the LGBTQ+ propaganda law this week. (Getty)

Individuals who spread or attempt to distribute what the law defines as “LGBTQ+ propaganda” can be fined up to 400,000 roubles (£5,466), while organisations can be fined up to five million roubles (£68,327).

Officials have already fined social media app TikTok for breaching the law in October, fining them £44,000 for “promoting non-traditional values, LGBT, feminism, and a distorted representation of traditional sexual values”.

It also threatened to implement further fines if the so-called “LGBTQ+ propaganda” videos on the app aren’t restricted or removed on Russian servers.

Human rights organisations condemn LGBTQ+ propaganda law

Several human rights organisations have routinely condemned the Russian government for discriminatory legislation proposals.

Igor Kochetkov of the Russian LGBT Network called the bill “absurd” and said that further attempts to silence LGBTQ+ people were “part of a broader attack on anything the government deems ‘western and progressive”.

“Officials don’t explain what they mean under ‘LGBT propaganda,'” Kochetkov told The Guardian.

“At this point, it is hard to know how this will affect the community, but the situation of the LGBTQ+ community was already very dire before this bill.”

Over the course of several years, the Russian government has been banning prominent pro-LGBTQ+ rights groups or labelling them as “foreign agents”, including Kochetkov’s LGBTQ+ Network.

The move has come as part of the government’s attempt to promote more “traditional values” across the country since instigating its invasion of Ukraine.

In an October 2022 speech, Vladimir Putin accused the US and NATO of “imposing perversions on children”.

“They do not give a damn about the natural right of billions of people, the majority of humanity, to freedom and justice, the right to determine their own future.

“They have already moved on to the radical denial of moral, religious, and family values.”

Additionally, State Duma Information Committee chairman Alexander Khinshtein insisted that the children’s television show Peppa Pig was a “tool of war” after it featured a same-sex couple.

“The war is not only on the battlefield,” he said. “It is also in the smartphones of our children, in cartoons and films… Our enemy really holds the propaganda of sodomy as the core of its influence.”

Khinshtein originally proposed the amendments to the 2013 bill after he said the law was “insufficient” and that lawmakers had to consider pushing the legislation further.