The Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament, has passed legislation that bans all forms of LGBT propaganda, including that which is deemed to promote or praise same-sex relationships, pedophilia, and sex changes among adults.
Under the new law, which still requires approval from the upper house of parliament, the Federal Council, those found guilty of spreading or attempting to distribute LGBT propaganda—in film, online, advertising, or in public—will face fines of up to 400,000 rubles (€6,348), the state-backed Russian news agency TASS reports.
Additionally, according to the new legislation, legal entities found to be in violation of the new law can be fined up to 5 million rubles (€79,355), while foreigners can be arrested and held for up to 15 days or be deported from the country.
The bill, which expands upon a 2013 law that prohibited propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors, passed unanimously on Thursday afternoon, according to a press release from the State Duma.
Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who is among the 400 legislators who authored the piece of legislation, said that the bill was approved expressly for the interests of Russians.
“We should do everything in order to protect our children and those who want to lead a normal life,” Volodin said, adding:
The solution will protect our children, the future of the country from the darkness spread by the United States, and the European States. We have our own traditions and values.
During the parliamentary session, Volodin said that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had called to request that the Duma withdraw the piece of legislation, adding that in doing so, the U.S. was seeking to impose “alien values” on Russia and that the unanimous vote was the “best answer to Blinken.”
Alexander Khinstein, a deputy in the State Duma and one of the bill’s architects, said LGBT propaganda is “an element of hybrid warfare and in this hybrid warfare we must protect our values, our society, and our children.”
The statements from Volodin and Khinstein both echo sentiments expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a recent speech, where he accused the collective west of “moving toward open satanism.”
Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has expressed support for the new law.
Now, the legislation will be sent to the Federal Council before it is signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin.