How Do MPs Want to Punish for “LGBT+ Propaganda” Among All Ages in Russia?

On October 20, 2 new bills concerning “LGBT+ propaganda” were registered in the State Duma for consideration. 388 deputies out of 450 signed the bills’ projects. And although initially one of the main initiators of the complete ban on “propaganda” – Deputy Alexander Khinshtein — said that the first reading of the draft will be considered next week, the Information Policy Committee of the State Duma will accept feedback on them until November 4. Only then can the first reading be assigned. Sphere did an analysis on what the bills are to punish for and what to prohibit.

The projects have been submitted, and this means that we need to attract the attention of the public and officials even more. Express your protest against state homophobia: write letters to deputies and sign a petition.

What does Bill No. 217471-8 propose?

The bill concerns Federal laws on information, advertising, mass media, cinematography and protection of children from information and is a small revision of the draft proposed by Deputy Ostanina and others in the summer.

According to the amendments, “materials promoting non-traditional sexual relations and/or preferences” will be included in the list of prohibited information that should not be on the Internet, in mass media, cinema and advertising.

Children, among other things, will not be allowed to show anything “demonstrating non-traditional relationships” and information “capable of causing a desire to change gender.”

They want to restrict access to age-censored content by entering a captcha or other actions that can confirm the age.

What do we think?

“This bill is the most dangerous, as it can lead to mass blocking of any resources on the Internet containing non-negative references to LGBT+. I think that such blockages can be successfully appealed in court, as before, but the practice may become more widespread than it was before.” —Alexander Belik, head of the Sphere’s Advocacy and Monitoring program, says in his assessment the amendments.

What does Bill No. 217472-8 propose?

The second bill is the revision of Article 6.21 of the Code of Administrative Offences of Russia promised by Deputy Khinstein back in September.

The proposed revision logically supplements amendments to Federal laws. Article 6.21 will actually be divided into three:

  • 6.21 “Propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations and (or) preferences”;
  • 6.211 “Pedophilia propaganda”;
  • 6.212 “Dissemination among minors of information demonstrating non-traditional sexual relations and (or) preferences or capable of causing minors to desire to change their gender.”

The first one will punish “LGBT+ propaganda” among all ages. Fines for individuals range from 50 to 400 thousand rubles; for officials — from 100 to 800 thousand; for legal entities — from 800 thousand to 5 million rubles or suspension of activity for up to 90 days. Foreigners or stateless people will be required to pay a fine of 50 to 400 thousand, or will be arrested for up to 15 days, and will also be expelled from Russia.

The proposed article 6.212 will punish for describing or depicting “non-traditional sexual relations or for information “capable of causing minors to desire to change their gender.” Fines for individuals in this case range from 50 to 200 thousand rubles, for officials — from 100 to 400 thousand, for legal entities — from 800 thousand to 4 million rubles or suspension of activity for up to 90 days.

Foreigners and stateless people can also be fined from 50 to 200 thousand or arrested for up to 15 days. Both options are accompanied by expulsion.

What do we think?

“I am not sure that this version of article 6.21 will be more enforceable than the previous one. Since the term “propaganda” is still defined in uncertain terms. But it definitely threatens more people who used to hide behind the 18+ sign. But the law is being adopted, as before, not to punish specific people, but to create an atmosphere of hatred for LGBT+.” —Belik comments on the projects.

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