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Russian bill would ban gay rights events

MOSCOW, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Gay rights supporters held a kiss-in Friday as the Russian parliament was due to hear a bill banning the promotion of homosexuality to children, observers said.

Police made arrests on both sides of a scuffle after at least one man assaulted the gay rights supporters outside the Duma, the BBC reported.

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Under the new bill, private individuals would be fine $166 for promoting "homosexual behavior among minors." Officials would pay 10 times that amount and businesses would face a $16,500 fine. If passed, it would mean all events promoting gay rights across Russia would be banned.

Human rights campaigner Lyudmila Alexeyeva said the aim of the bill was "not to protect children but to curb the rights of sexual minorities."

Last year, Moscow's top court upheld a ban on gay pride marches, and prohibited them for the next 100 years, the BBC reported. The European Court of Human Rights has issued fines against Russia for such bans.

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