Russia passes a new and even more restrictive anti-LGBTQ law

Moscow, Russia - Russia is drastically restricting the rights of LGBTQ+ people with a new law passed in parliament on Thursday.

People taking part in St. Petersburg Pride in 2017.
People taking part in St. Petersburg Pride in 2017.  © REUTERS

The so-called "LGBT propaganda" law punishes any positive portrayal of queer relationships, amongst other things. Social media posts, books, movies, and advertising are affected.

Previously, the ban, which was enacted in 2013, only applied to statements and depictions made in the presence of minors. There had already been repeated major international protests against this.

In dealing with children and young people, the catalog of prohibitions has now been significantly expanded: no information about gender reassignment may be passed on to minors that could encourage them to take such a step.

Russia says US satellites are legitimate targets in Ukraine war
Russia Russia says US satellites are legitimate targets in Ukraine war

Activists already warned months ago of the tightening of the law and fear even stronger discrimination against homosexual and queer people in Russia.

Russia's draconian law causes confusion and uncertainty

Police block LGBTQ+ advocates in St. Petersburg in 2019.
Police block LGBTQ+ advocates in St. Petersburg in 2019.  © REUTERS

Violators of the new regulations face heavy fines: citizens up to 200,000 roubles ($3,307), companies and organizations up to five million roubles ($82,544).

Cinema films will be denied a distribution license if, in the view of the Russian judiciary, they "promote non-traditional sexual relations."

Many critically minded artists and cultural workers have already fled the country, also in view of the Russian war against Ukraine, which has been going on for nine months. But even among those who remain, the new LGBT law is causing great uncertainty.

Russian TV host fired after calling for Ukrainian kids to be drowned and burned
Russia Russian TV host fired after calling for Ukrainian kids to be drowned and burned

According to the newspaper Kommersant, several publishers recently expressed concerns in a letter to the Russian book association.

One publisher, for example, noted that even the mention of certain historical facts could now be prevented.

Cover photo: REUTERS

More on the topic Russia: