Russia is advancing a law to ban the distribution of materials promoting homosexuality, pedophilia, and gender reassignment.
This week, lower-level members of the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, voted to pass the new law, which will see heavy fines being levied on offenders.
Following the draft’s passage through the parliament’s lower house, the law still requires approval from the upper house and a signature from President Vladimir Putin to take effect.
Those who promote such propaganda on online channels such as social media, television, and public advertisements could face fines of up to 10 million rubles ($165,000 USD). Foreign citizens and stateless individuals who violate the law will be deported from the Russian Federation.
As reported by the Daily Wire, Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said the law is designed to protect Russia’s traditional values and protect its children and the future of Russia from the “darkness spread by the United States and European states,” referring to efforts by Western corporations, which now incorporate pro-transgender messaging in their advertisements and marketing.
His remarks also referred to the Biden administration and the U.S. State Department, which has made it a point to promote LGBTQ+ pride in foreign countries.
In his speech, Volodin described the United States as the “center of this sodom in the world,” in response to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s alleged demand for the Russian government to prevent the passage of the law.
“There is no need to impose alien values on us,” Volodin said. “You destroyed yours — we’ll see how it all ends. But it’s definitely sad because this is sodom — there’s no other way to say it.”
“Let them live there, but don’t bother us,” he said.
The Russian Federation banned propaganda promoting homosexuality among minors almost a decade ago and passed amendments to the country’s constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage in 2020.
One of the bill’s authors, Alexander Khinstein, called woke ideology a form of “hybrid warfare” being enacted by the West on its adversaries.
“LGBT today is an element of hybrid warfare, and in this hybrid warfare,” Khinstein said, Reuters reported. “We must protect our values, our society, and our children.”
Despite concerns that the law could severely impact the day-to-day lives of average Russians who fall under the LGBT umbrella, Russian LGBT group spokesperson Kseniya Mikhailova told Reuters that the law is unlikely to impact adults-only gay establishments, such as gay bars and clubs exclusive to LGBT clientele.