Vladimir Putin signs law that bans any type of information that could ‘promote homosexuality’
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Featured Image Credit: Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin Pool/Alamy Live News. SOPA Images Limited/Alamy Live News
A law was introduced back in 2013 that banned the spread of information that promoted queer lifestyles to minors.
However, the Russian President has updated legislation that will restrict the distribution of ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’ to those 18 and over as well.
According to ABC News, information will be restricted on various platforms, including online, films, books, and advertising.
If the law is broken, individuals could receive a fine of up to USD $6,370 (AUD $9,493 or £5,219) for promoting ‘LGBT propaganda’ and USD $3,185 (AUD $4,746 or £2,609) for 'demonstrations of LGBT and information that encourages a change of gender among teenagers’, as per CNN.
The new law is the latest attempt for policymakers to completely shun all ‘non-traditional’ relationships from public life across the country.
However, many mental health care professionals fear the serious ramifications that could occur for already marginalised groups.
Psychologists told Human Rights Watch that the new law even prevents patients from asking about queerness and sexual identity.
One psychologist, who remains anonymous, told the outlet: “Teenagers often wait for me to ask a direct and precise question about his or her sexual orientation or gender identity, but the law prevents me from doing that.”
As a result, some psychologists have said they are forced to use euphemisms as a way of exploring the topic.
A social worker also denounced the policy to Human Rights Watch, calling it ‘an effective means of intimidation'.
However, CNN reported that the head of the State Duma’s Information Policy Committee, Alexander Khinshtein, defended the policy.
“Our bill is not an act of censorship. We are only saying that propaganda, that is, positive promotion, praise, saying that this is normal, and maybe even better than traditional relations, should be banned,” he said.
According to the outlet, Putin also addressed the widespread criticism from Western culture over the Kremlin upholding ‘traditional values’ at a speech in Moscow in October.
He insisted the Western ‘elites’ shouldn’t decide what the law should be in the eastern European country.
He said: “The West can do whatever they want with gay parades but they shouldn’t dictate the same rules for Russia.”