Monday, 20 June 2011

Second Russian region moves to ban 'homosexual propaganda'

Flag of Arkhangelsk OblastImage via Wikipedia
Source: GayRussia.Ru

[via Google translation]

Deputies in the Arkhangelsk Oblast (regional) Parliament in North-Western Russia are preparing amendments to a regional law 'On some measures to protect the morals and health of children in the Arkhangelsk region' to prohibit so-called "propaganda of homosexuality" to juveniles.

These amendments are intended to "protect children from homosexuality and other corrupting influences," according to a 15 June press release on the official website of the Assembly of Deputies.

The main sponsors of the amendments is the homophobic chairman of the Committee on Youth Affairs and Sports Assembly  Alexander Dyatlov of the ruling United Russia party and his deputy Boris Vysokih of the Just Russia party, United Russia allies.

The amendments advanced during a 'round table' held 15 June in the regional parliament, and have legislative support to advance further.

"The request for action in this direction follows an approach to us by representatives of the scientific community of the Arkhangelsk region, community organizations and religious denominations," said Dyatlov.
"These amendments will prohibit the promotion of non-traditional sexual orientation in the Arkhangelsk region. The danger of this kind does exist. Today, our region, along with St. Petersburg and Murmansk region were among the areas where the regional public organization registered LGBT groups, whose work focuses on the promotion of homosexuality was supported by grants from foreign funds."
Said Vysokih:
"Russia is an Christian Orthodox country, and, for sensible people, homosexuality is a manifestation of an abnormal character. They came to us from the West."
"And that such things corrupts our youth, this is unacceptable. Cruelty, violence, homosexuality - all these are manifestations of a single cause-effect relationship. Our task is to protect young people from this, and when a person becomes an adult, he will understand it or not. And the fact that we make an amendment to the law, it is absolutely true. Such manifestations should be treated harshly. Immorality can never lead to good results."
The draft law will be considered at the next session of the Regional Council of Deputies [parliament], which will begin 29 June.

One region of Russia already has a similar ban on "advocacy of sodomy and lesbianism," enacted in 2006 in the Ryazan region [200km south of Moscow].

GayRussia says that Arkhangelsk region has the potential to become the second such region as the regional parliament is completely controlled by the United Russia party.

The other three factions, Fair Russia, Communist and Liberal Democratic Parties, are unlikely to vote against this homophobic initiative, they say.

In March this year, a regional branch of the Fair Russia party in Kemerovo, near Novosibirsk in Siberia, said in their election program that they would push for the introduction of "high fines" for the "promotion of homosexuality."

The Ryazan region law against the "propaganda of homosexuality" is an administrative offense punishable by a fine.

In 2009, GayRussia.Ru activists Nikolai Baev and Irina Fedotova were fined by a Ryazan court after protesting near a children's library and school in Ryazan. They were holding placards which read: "Homosexuality - this is normal" and "I am proud of my homosexuality. Ask me about it. "

Last year, the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that the Ryazan discriminatory ban on "propaganda of homosexuality" does not contradict the Constitution.

The Ryazan ban on "gay propaganda" has subsequently been taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
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