Russia passes bill against propagandizing homosexuality among minors

June 12, 2013 at 9:18 AM
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MOSCOW, June 12 (UPI) -- The Russian Duma passed and sent to the Senate a bill imposing a fine for propagandizing non-traditional sexual relationships among minors.

The measure doesn't clarify what it means by "non-traditional" but the intent is clearly to discourage discussion of homosexuality in public places or in media accessible to children, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Supporters of the legislation say such laws are needed to protect children.

As Parliament was voting on the rule, anti-gay demonstrators threw eggs at a smaller group trying to express opposition to the bill with a "kissing protest."

"This is a step backward from the progress of civilization in my country," said Vitus Media, a spokesman for Russia's LGBT Network.

In a related development, the State Duma passed legislation designed to protect religious feelings, ITAR-Tass reported.

The measure includes punishment of up to three years in prison for insults made inside a church.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign both measures.

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