Russian lawmakers have drafted a bill that would criminalise any “demonstration of one’s distorted sexual preferences in public places.”
The new law would make any public display of “non-traditional sexual relations” an offence that could lead to 15 days in prison and a fine.
It would build on top of Russia’s existing broad ‘gay propaganda’ law, which bans the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality anywhere children can see.
Ivan Nikitchuk, Communist party MP and one of the drafters of the new bill, told a Russian newspaper that he and Nikolay Arefyev, also of the Communist party, wrote this new legislation because the 2013 anti-LGBT law that “bans the promotion of homosexuality” had “proved insufficiently effective.”
Talking to Russian newspaper Izvestia, Nikitchuk went on to say “[homosexuality] is a huge threat to every normal person, which can affect children or grandchildren, and thus interrupt the race.”
In an interview on Russian radio that was reported in Gazeta, Nikitchuk stated that this new law would only apply to men because “We believe that women [are] more reasonable and more people are guided by emotions…So far, women are not affected. To respect women.”
Tanya Cooper, Russia researcher at Human Rights Watch has come out against the law, saying “This draft law is a new and absurd low in discriminatory legislative proposals,
“The draft proposes to effectively outlaw being gay, and just being yourself could land you behind bars.”
This follows Vladimir Putin’s appearance on American news show 60 Minutes, where he claimed that “I believe there should not be any criminal prosecution or any other prosecution or infringement of people’s rights on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religious or sexual orientation.”
“We have no persecution at all,” he added.
Yesterday Elton John announced that he was still planning on meeting with Vladimir Putin to discuss LGBT rights in the country.