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Gay pride fines: Russian parliament passes bill to impose fines on rallies

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com
Vladmir Putin is expected to sign a bill into law that would fine Russians for "gay propaganda."
 
 Joe Mitchell / UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/a45420264beeba1737a3b1c5236f61ef/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Vladmir Putin is expected to sign a bill into law that would fine Russians for "gay propaganda." Joe Mitchell / UPI | License Photo

Russian President Putin is set to sign a law banning what Russia's lower house of parliament calls gay propaganda. This comes while Putin's divorce from wife Lyudmila is underway.

The Duma passed a measure banning gay "propaganda" unanimously on Tuesday, and detained several gay-rights activists after they held a kissing protest.

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The law has not yet been passed by Russia's upper house of parliament or signed by Putin, but both are expected to approve the measure. If enacted, it would ban the spread of "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," or any relations "not conducive to procreation," to anyone under age 18.

The law would undoubtably affect gay-pride events and whether they could be held, but may also change Russian television: Some Communist leaders cite Elton John's clothing choices "gay propaganda," and have claimed that Madonna promotes homosexuality in her concerts.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, and gay Russians will not face legal action based on sexuality alone. Anti-gay sentiment in Russia is high, though, and goes as far as keeping Russian orphans from being adopted by same-sex parents in countries where gay marriage is legal.

Fines for individuals violating the law would be up to 5,000 rubles ($156). For media organizations, the fine is much higher -- they can be charged up to 1 million rubles ($31,000).

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