Russian city of St. Petersburg bans gay 'propaganda' in public spaces

Mon. March 12, 2012 2:55 PM by News Staff

St. Petersburg, Russia - In nine days, it will be a crime in St. Petersburg, Russia, to promote "the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors."

The new law includes whopping fines of up to $16,000 on individuals and up to $160,000 on groups who reach out to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.

It also ends public events like Gay Pride parades and information booths in public spaces.

St. Petersburg is the fourth Russian city to ban "gay propaganda" in recent months.

"This bill is a thinly veiled attempt to legalize discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in Russia's second-biggest city," said Nicola Duckworth, Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme Director. "The notion that LGBTI rights activists are somehow converting Russia's youth through ‘propaganda' would be laughable, if the potential effects of this new law weren't so dangerous and wide-reaching.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but homophobia is an accepted attitude across the country.

St. Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city.