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Russia Set to Ban LGBT Influences From Public Sphere

Neil Campbell
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: November 1, 2022
Russia has banned LGBT influences from public.
A view of the State Duma building, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, in central Moscow on Oct. 27, 2022. The Russian government unanimously banned homosexual, bisexual, and transgender influences from the country’s Internet, media, and advertising community on penalty of heavy fines. (Image: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

The Russian Federation is set to impose a sweeping ban on LGBT content from the country’s internet, media, and pop culture. 

Oct. 27 reporting by state news agency TASS stated that Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, had unanimously voted to pass a “draft law” that would ban “the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” from “the media, on the Internet, in advertisements, books and movies.”

The article states that additionally, “pedophilia,” the “display of LGBT-related information,” and “information encouraging gender changes among teenagers” would be barred from the Internet, media, books, movies, advertisements, and music.

Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, one of the 400 sponsors of the bill, was paraphrased by TASS as stating that the lower chamber of government “received high-profile initiatives on the ban of information promoting non-traditional relationships.”

Volodin was specifically quoted as stating the government has received “a huge number of appeals with requests to adopt a law banning propaganda,” which TASS characterized as that which “destroys Russian society and traditional family values.”

Penalties incurred for “promoting non-traditional values” include fines of 5 million rubles (about US$80,950) for disseminating LGBT content among minors and 4 million rubles among adults.

Foreign nationals found guilty would be deported and fined 400,000 rubles (about $6,500 USD), TASS stated.

Penalties increase for peddlers of pedophilia to 10 million rubles. Foreign nationals guilty of the same crime would be subject to an 800,000-ruble fine, deportation, and an “administrative 15-day detention.”

For those who push transgender ideology, 4 million-ruble fines are on the table, while foreign nationals would be subject to a 200,000 ruble fine, deportation, and a potential 15-day detention.

The necessity of the law may be self-evident. In coverage of the topic, the conservative-appealing outlet Breitbart noted that in comments to SVT, an “international project manager” for Sweden-based LGBT activist group RFSL complained that Russia’s crackdown has “gradually gotten worse and worse and this is one more degree.”

Yet the outlet noted that in 2017, it had flamed RFSL for releasing a brochure targeting Swedish asylum seekers aged 15+ dubbed with the title “Sexual Health and Rights in Sweden” that in a cartoon drawing depicted two people of color having group sex with a white-skinned woman.

Breitbart also noted, “In 2021, a member of the organisation, a man in his fifties, was convicted of raping and sexually abusing asylum seekers who had come to him for help.”

While Russia might be a lone European wolf in its anti-LGBT stance at the government level, the sentiment has backers at the populous level.

In August, officials from the government of Serbia were forced to cancel EuroPride 2022, a multi-week LGBTQ+ parade and festival described as the largest of its kind in Europe, after massive protests from the country’s citizens, specifically among Orthodox Christians.

Strengthening traditional moral values has been a cornerstone of Russia’s internal efforts to shore up its domestic situation during its war in Ukraine.

In early October, LGBTQ publication Washington Blade criticized Putin after he spoke before a massive crowd celebrating the annexation of multiple regions of the Donbass where the Russian leader took aim at gay and trans culture as an extension of western psychological warfare.

Putin told the crowd in regard to the initiative of “western countries,” that, “In fact, they spit on the natural right of billions of people, most of humanity, to freedom and justice, to determine their own future on their own. Now they have completely moved to a radical denial of moral norms, religion, and family.”

The Russian President asked his citizens, “Let’s answer some very simple questions for ourselves. I now want to return to what I said, I want to address all the citizens of the country — not only to those colleagues who are in the hall — to all the citizens of Russia: do we want to have, here, in our country, in Russia, parent number one, number two, number three instead of mom and dad — have they gone mad out there?” 

And continued, “Do we really want perversions that lead to degradation and extinction to be imposed on children in our schools from the primary grades? To be drummed into them that there are various supposed genders besides women and men, and to be offered a sex change operation? Do we want all this for our country and our children?” 

“For us, all this is unacceptable, we have a different future, our own future,” Putin said.