A Siberian regional legislature submitted to the Russian parliament a bill to make promotion of homosexuality among minors an administrative offense, the State Duma said on its website on Thursday.
The bill, introduced by the Novosibirsk Region Legislative Assembly, stipulates administrative fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($170) for individuals, up to 50,000 rubles ($1,700) for officials and up to 500,000 ($17,000) for legal entities.
The legislation could also complicate efforts by gay activists to organize a Russian Gay Pride parade. Numerous attempts to hold gay rights protests in Moscow and elsewhere have been either vetoed by officials or broken up by riot police and right-wing groups.
The bill was submitted a week after State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said that lawmakers will thoroughly study a draft federal law banning promotion of homosexuality among minors once it is submitted to the parliament.
The Russian Orthodox Church has called for national legislation making the promotion of homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender practices among minors an administrative offense after a similar law was adopted by regional legislatures in St. Petersburg and other Russian regions.
Homosexuality was punishable by prison terms in the Soviet Union and was only decriminalized by President Boris Yeltsin in 1993, although discrimination against gay people remains widespread. According to a 2010 survey by the independent Levada Center polling agency, 74 percent of respondents said gays and lesbians were "amoral" and "mentally defective," while only 45 percent said they should enjoy the same rights as heterosexuals.