MOSCOW, June 30 (RIA Novosti) – President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill banning the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” toward minors, Russia’s official website of legal information said on Sunday.
The law will levy fines for such offenses from 800,000 rubles ($24,000) to 1 million rubles ($30,500) for legal entities, from 4,000 rubles ($120) to 5,000 rubles ($150) for individuals and from 40,000 rubles ($1,220) to 50,000 rubles ($1,530) for officials. Legal entities may also be suspended for 90 days for the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” toward children.
Promotion of such relations with the use of mass media or Internet resources will see harsher penalties of 50,000-100,000 rubles ($1,520-3,050) for individuals, 100,000-200,000 rubles ($3,050-6,115) for officials and 1 million rubles or 90-day suspension for legal entities.
While the law’s proponents argue it is aimed at protecting children from harmful influences, critics allege the move is part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.
Russia has come under international criticism, including from the European Court of Human Rights, for its treatment of the gay community.
Putin reiterated on Tuesday that the rights of sexual minorities in Russia were not being violated in any way.
When asked about a recently passed bill that would impose fines of up to 1 million rubles for promoting homosexuality toward minors, Putin said that sexual minorities “are full-fledged members of our society and are not being discriminated against in any way.”
“It’s not about imposing some sort of sanctions on homosexuality. … It’s about protecting children from such information,” Putin said.
“Certain countries ... think that there is no need to protect [children] from this. … But we are going to provide such protection the way that State Duma [parliamentary] lawmakers have decided. We ask you not to interfere in our governance,” he said.
Updated to replace the term "homosexual propaganda" with "promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” in headline and throughout the text