Russia’s Newest Anti-LGBTQ+ Ban

Laci Avne, Staff Writer

Russia’s disapproving views of LGBTQ+ people have been confirmed by a new law passed on Monday, December 5. The president, Vladimir Putin, just signed a law that expands the ban on the promotion of homosexual relationships and practically any acknowledgment of the existence of people in the community. Over the past few weeks, legislation has been approving the law, which eventually made its way to Putin. 

The government has been attempting to narrow free speech and fundamental human rights due to their continued conflicts with Ukraine, hence the harsher restrictions. In 2013, a law banned the spread of information regarding LGBTQ+ people to minors, which was referred to as the “gay propaganda” law. Now, this ban has now expanded its horizons to adults as well. Talk of “Non-traditional sexual relations and/or preferences”  will be strictly forbidden throughout media: including books, movies, television, the internet, and advertising. 

Punishments for breaking this law include fines of up to five million rubles, which is equivalent to $80,000 in the United States. 2017, four years after the original law was passed regarding minors, the European Court of Human Rights determined the ruling to be discriminatory, which violates what they stand for. They argued that children’s exposure to the existence of the queer community will have no effect on whether they end up being non-heterosexual. Nothing more has come from these violations though.

1993 marked the decriminalization of homosexuality in Russia, but discrimination has been on the rise. Russia is ranked the third worst LGBTQ+ inclusive country in Europe.

Not only is speech regarding LGBTQ+ people not allowed, but bans on speaking out on Russia’s armed forces have been implemented too, in height of the country’s conflicts. People can face up to fifteen years for this offense. Some even say that Russia is returning to Soviet-like censorship.