US slams Russian 'anti-gay' bill

2013-01-26 08:12

Washington - The United States on Friday slammed a disputed bill in Russia that would ban what lawmakers there call "homosexual propaganda" among minors and could lead to gays being fined for demonstrating or kissing in public.

"We are deeply concerned by this draft legislation in Russia that severely restricts freedom of expression and assembly for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and, indeed, for all Russians," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

"You know how strongly we feel about LGBT rights around the world, how strongly the secretary of state personally feels that nobody should be discriminated against for who they love," she told reporters.

Russia's parliament gave initial backing to the bill Friday in a 388-1 vote in the first of three readings hours after police detained more than 20 mostly young opponents who staged a "kiss-in" protest outside the State Duma.

The nationwide proposal is based on local laws already passed in Putin's native city of Saint Petersburg and five other Russian regions.

Several of the bill's most ardent proponents said they were protecting Russia from what they perceived as excessively tolerant attitudes in other countries.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already discussed the issue with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov over a year ago, Nuland said.

The US comments come at a time of renewed tensions with Moscow over civil liberties and human rights in Russia.

The bill in its current form prohibits "the propaganda of homosexual behaviour among minors." Activists worry that the vague wording could lead to gays being fined for demonstrating or even holding hands in public.

It also sets out fines for violations of up to 5,000 rubles ($165) for individuals and up to 50,000 rubles for officials.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-26 09:17

    AMAZING !! The ones who are the lunatics of the violent left, are the SAME ONES who have a gay problem !!!! But than ---------HATRED---------RACISM-----FILTH----INSULTS----------- is right up their ally !!!!!

      OwenCPT - 2013-01-26 10:02

      So many people have those mindsets, and use their religion to excuse it. If god actually does exist, and he allows such disgusting things to happen, well then he is one pretty evil god then.

  • shaun.stanley2 - 2013-01-26 10:27

    Its disgusting that so many people hold bigoted anti-scientific, irrational, unjustifiable views regarding homosexuals. You are as good as the racists in apartheid. You should be ashamed of yourselves for perpetuating (directly or indirectly) the needless misery of millions of people.

      OwenCPT - 2013-01-26 10:54

      You are right Shaun. All these people that hate others based on irrelevant info are exactly the same as those pathetic apartheid morons.

      OwenCPT - 2013-01-26 14:57

      They are allowed to give their opinion, the same as when the ANC gives their opinion and condemns Israel, or "the colonialists." Their opinion helped kick-start the sanctions and global pressure that ended apartheid. So is it only ok for them to interfere when blacks are being discriminated against?

      SkyeBerry - 2013-01-26 17:34

      Lukyan, again I say - it's very convenient to applaud them when you are benefiting from what they say, and then scold them for the doing the very same thing that benefits another...

      linds.ronhouse - 2013-01-27 09:50

      Agreed Shaun. Including those who hate polygamists. What's wrong with an adult marrying two or more concenting wives. Can't be worse than an adult man sleeping with another concerning adult man. Same logic applies. So let's protect polygamists' rights with the same vigor as when we protect homosexuals' rights. Or the trend continues to demonise everything African while glorifying everything western?

      shaun.stanley2 - 2013-01-27 10:14

      @linds.ronhouse This isn't about western/African, and that is a ridiculous way to compartmentalize and think about the world. There are some ideas which are justifiable and good, and some which are unjustifiable and bad. We must reject the unjustifiable and bad ideas, regardless of which geographic region they came in. I have an intuitive repulsion to polygamy, for it seems to necessitate gender inequality, and that doesn't seem to be maximally good. But if I am wrong I am willing to change that perspective. But it shouldn't be a consideration of what is 'African' or not. After all, apparently slavery was practiced in Africa (by Africans) as well, its historically African and was clearly consistent with the cultures/ideals which existed at the time. But that doesn't *mean* that we should bring back slavery.

  • SkyeBerry - 2013-01-26 11:00

    It's simple: decide where you stand. You're either pro human rights, or not. If you are pro human rights, you are pro freedom of expression and also freedom from persecution based on sex, gender, race and belief. It is not selective. If you are, however, anti human rights/anti freedom of expression, then think of this: It's the liberal fights for human rights and freedom that gave millions of South Africans the freedom they have today. By becoming this construed anti-freedom right wing 'conservative', you are literally agreeing with the whole basis of Apartheid. Think about that one. Peace.

  • Mandy Casey - 2013-01-26 12:28

    Suddenly gays don't seem so gay anymore.

      Flippncool - 2013-01-26 12:39

      If I was gay I wouldn't be either considering how idiotic and archaic people are in these comments. It's amazing to see so much backward thinking in a modern world. I wonder how many of the straight bigots commenting here would have a problem watching two Lesbians getting off. They'd all be like "YEAH BABY!".

  • chuck.anziulewicz - 2013-01-26 14:46

    It's tremendously dismaying that a nation as powerful as Russia, which has made such strides in the direction of freedom over the past 30 years, is now putting LGBT people under the boot heel. Most Western entertainers will avoid Russia now, and corporations that do business in Russia will come under much greater scrutiny. I think elected officials there are ultimately going to regret their decision.

      OwenCPT - 2013-01-26 15:03

      Good, they have made their choice so they must accept the consequences. If their GDP goes down, that's their fault.

  • lesvokli.pitsiladi - 2013-01-26 19:53

    Well done America! Its funny how some of these bigots cried for your (US) help to end apartheid. There are people in Russia crying for help because they are been victimized for loving differently, something they can never change...............yet it is wrong for the US to fight for their rights??? No doubt this homophobia stems from your typical culprits!

      ryan.raubenheimer.9 - 2013-02-02 14:48

      "Having somebody to hate amuses their stunted minds and makes the brainwashed little twits feel superior." Oh, the irony of your comment...

  • Marcus Steenberg - 2013-01-29 10:46

    All I can say is bravo to the US. I did not think I'd live to see the day that a serving US president would commend the Stonewall riots and categorise them (correctly) with other civil rights watersheds - or call for the legalisation of gay marriage in his inaugural speech. It was a great great day. Things aren't perfect but more often where America leads others follow and it only bodes well for the future. Russia on the other hand is a horrible despotic nation run by cruel bigots in the pockets of the criminal underworld. It's abuse of human rights is as bad under "Russian Orthodox" influence then is was under communism. Shame on them.

  • Russophillia - 2013-02-02 16:01

    This is why I love Russia! Keep up the good work.

      Holly Moyo - 2013-03-01 05:21

      Good for the Russians, hosexuality is filth and un natural. if all people were engaged in this abomination the human race would go extinct. Its dirty, full of diseases,its sexual pervesion and an abuse of the use of the human body.Mugabe maybe wrong about other things, But in this He is right homosexuals are worse than cats and dogs.even dogs would complain against being compared to homosexuals.

  • Holly Moyo - 2013-03-01 05:31

    The Russians are right. The right says curse are those who call the truth who uphold abominations and supress the truth.Deep down in all man" hearts we know no man can marry a man and no woman can marry a woman.who is the mother and who is the father,Can they have children.Who is going to populate the world and provide needed workers.The anus was made for taking out human waste and not sex.Thats why so many sieases are found in homosexuals.Thats why HIV is easily transmitted by them.The rectum is not for penentration but excretion. The pervesion and moral decay in this world is beyond belief. Homosexuals are just what they are, FILTH,AN ABOMINATION TO THE SOCIETY, CORRUPTING CHILDREN AT SCHOOLS AND DESTROYING WHOLE SOCITIES.FAMILIES MAKE UP A COMMUNITY. COMMUNITY MAKE A SOCIETY, AND SOCIETY MAKES UP A NATION. WITH HOMOSEXUALS WHERE ARE OUR NATION GOING TO COME FROM. SHAME

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